Saint John's Herald Newsletter
Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17   Entries 1-5 of 81
April 12, 2014, 12:50 PM

April 12, 2014

The St. John's Herald

The voice of the Episcopal Church in Lake County

St. John's Church

(Episcopal)

1190 North Forbes Street, Lakeport, California 95453

 

You can reach Fr. Leo at 349-6563 or e-mail frleo@yahoo.com

 

St. John’s Church vision statement:

We are a visible, welcoming family of Christ, 

resolved to deepen our relationship with God.

 

 

April 12, 2014

 

Dear Folks,

 

On Sunday, April 13th, Christians around the world will commence what is commonly called Holy Week. With rites that trace their origin to the Fourth Century, we will observe PalmSunday, commemorating  Christ’s triumphant entry into the city of Jerusalem.

We will begin this annual commemoration with the blessing of palm branches at the entrance of the one hundred and fifteen year old landmark church and process to the chancel to the familiar strains of the hymn, All Glory, Laud and Honor.  Then the mood of the service will shift from triumphant to somber with the retelling of the Passion of Christ according to St. Matthew, in which the congregation will take an active part.   The passion and death of Jesus will then be relived sacramentally with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist and the congregation will then depart in silence. 

        Last night, with hours of work yet to be done on editing and formatting The Herald, I had to give up and retire at 8 pm. So it is a day late but filled with helpful and interesting articles for Holy Week. Please keep me in your prayers and love as I continue to keep going, for as long as it is God’s Will, to serve you as your parish priest.      

    God love you,

Fr. Leo+

 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of those involved in Thursday's bus crash in Orland.  

 

O merciful Father, who hast taught us in thy holy Word that

thou dost not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men:

Look with pity upon the sorrows of thy servant for whom

our prayers are offered. Remember him, O Lord, in mercy,

nourish his soul with patience, comfort him with a sense of

thy goodness, lift up thy countenance upon him, and give

him peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. BCB pg. 830 

   

    

 

Music for the Palm Sunday 

Prelude    All Glory Laud and Honor  GF Kaufmann    Germany early 1700's

Offertory   Lamb of God  JS Bach Germany 1700's

        Mel Taylor, Parish Organist

 

Good Friday

As we have for many years now, St. John’s will be participating in the Ecumenical GoodFriday Service at 12 noon.. This year the Service will be hosted by the Lake County Bible Fellowship, 775 N Forbes St. (across from the parking lot of St. Mary Immaculate Roman Catholic Church) near the corner of 4th St.  Deacon Bryan Duffty will represent St. John’s and has been invited to offer the opening prayer. The Service will be based on the Seven Last Words of Jesus on the Cross, and will include clergy from various churches around the north west side of the lake. We urge all our parishioners who are in the Lakeport area at midday on Good Fridayto participate in this annual witness of Christian fellowship.

St. John’s will not be holding its own Good Friday Liturgy as we have done in years past; but the church will be open to all for prayer and meditation from 12 noon until 3 pm, the three hours Jesus suffered on the Cross according to the Gospels. An inspiring life like crucifix from Spain, depicting Jesus suffering on the cross, will be set up in the Chancel. A votive candle stand will be placed at the Cross for anyone wishing to light a candle as a symbol of their prayer and presence with Christ. Our Parish Organist will provide meditative music for part of that time.

If he is able to do so, at 5:30 pm, Fr. Leo will observe the Good Friday Liturgy from the Book of Common Prayer at Little Portion Hermitage. All are welcome, but please call Fr. Leo(707 349 6563on Friday to make sure he is well enough to do the simple Service that day. 

   

You are invited to Celebrate Easter Sunday  at Historic St. John’s Church  at 10 A M. Hear the Easter Story read from the King James Bible. Experience the Joy and Hope of the Resurrection with Traditional Easter Hymns Sung throughout the Holy Communion Service. Come join us on Easter Sunday morning at the Landmark Victorian Church on the the corner of N. Forbes and Clearlake Ave.

Mel Taylor, our Parish Organist, will begin the Service with the first part of the Prelude The Day Hath Dawned by JS Bach with solo stops used for the right hand and pedals. The original German words for the hymn were written in 1560 by Nicolaus Hermann. For the second part of the Prelude, Jesus Christ, Our Great Redeemer by JS Bach, he will use soft ensemble stops. The original German words for this hymn were written in 1524 by Martin Luther.

For the Offertory Mel will play I Know That My Redeemer Lives arranged by Richard Weinhorst who was a music professor at The University of Valparaiso, Indiana during the mid 1900's.

The Postlude, The Blessed Christ is Risen Today was composed by JS Bach for full organ. In the pedals, you will notice that notes jump up and down indicating the return of Christ to earth for the Resurrection and lifting up mankind.  This is a Latin hymn "Surrexit Christus Hodie" dated in the 12th Century by an unknown composer. 

Fr. Leo will celebrate the Easter Eucharist, or Mass as it is often called, and preach a brief homily, reflecting on the mystery of the Resurrection as he celebrates the 40th Anniversary of his priestly ordination which took place in Montreal, Canada in 1974.

You are cordially invited to join the parishioners of St.John’s and friends of Fr.Leo’s for this unique celebration of Easter in all the richness and beauty of the Anglican tradition.

 

 

Have your say... 

The first of the Healing Services at  St. John's was an uplifting and comforting experience and I found it interesting that practically the whole congregation stayed to participate and support in the healing prayers, not only for themselves but for all those participating.  For me it was a very meaningful and healing experience and for that I am truly grateful and I look forward to being a part of future St. John's spirit healing services.

During my daily contemplations and quiet time I have been contemplating my experience of last Sunday and  thinking of the fact that if such a large portion of the small congregation of St. John's needed and participated in this experience..how many more are there in Lake County who need and would welcome being a participant in such a service.  ??? is this something that St. John's can provide for community and in it's outreach to the world.

 

Ray Farrow

Kelseyville, CA.

 

(Yes, we do plan to start a quarterly Healing Service at the beginning of our regular Sundayworship that will offered for the benefit of the greater Lake County community. The first such Service is scheduled to be held on Sunday, June 1st.)

 

Apr 5 at 6:52 PM

Dear Father Leo,

Today I attended the prayer shawl session for the first time.  There were a dozen of us, which included three new members.  The group contains about equal numbers of knitters and crocheters.  One of the new ladies had never crocheted before and we thoroughly enjoyed teaching her.  We need for the Herald to get the word out to the women in the congregation that (1) they need not know how to knit or crochet in order to join us; (2)  they need not bring any yarns or needles with them and (3) that the whole experience is gratifying and joyful.  They need only to call Eileen or catch her at church in order to get the details about times and locations of the meetings (our next one will be at someone's home, not at Carey Hall.)  An announcement in church does not reach nearly as many people as does the Herald, so, can you help us get the word out?

May God grant his angels charge over you.

Clementine Hall

 

  

Dear Faith Community:

We believe that some people in the community you serve may be unable to make the changes necessary to support their health, despite obesity or complications related to unhealthy eating or inappropriate weight. Many of us with this problem have found help in Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA). We hope you and those you work with will find information about FA useful. (Lake County meeting schedule attached for bulletin board posting.)

What is FA?

FA is a program based on the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. We offer help and spiritually based recovery to those whose connection with food can be understood as a form of addiction. We are not a medical group, nor are we connected with any particular form of religion. We charge no dues or fees and our meetings include no weigh-ins. Our membership is international and includes men and women, adolescents and the elderly. All are welcome.

  Who might benefit from FA?

People who find help in FA vary greatly. Some of us have been diagnosed as morbidly obese while others are under eaters. Among us are those who were severely bulimic, who have harmed themselves with compulsive exercise, or whose quality of life was impaired by constant obsession with food or weight. We tend to be people who, in the long-term, have failed at every solution we tried, including therapy, support groups, diets, fasting, exercise, and in-patient treatment programs.

Does FA work?

Some of our members have been in continuous recovery (maintaining a stable, healthy weight and enjoying freedom from obsession with food, weight, bingeing, or bulimia) for over twenty-five years. Members with five to ten years of recovery are increasingly common.

Would you like more information?

We would be happy to answer any of your questions, to speak with your colleagues, or to any groups within your worship community. Please contact us via email at: pi@foodaddicts.org. Additional information is available at the FA website: www.foodaddicts.org.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Elaine L.

Lake Co PI Rep

707-235-0855

 

Devotions for Holy Week

In order to aid you in observing Holy Week, I have included these two popular and timeless devotions from the Full Homely Divinity web site which you can pray at home alone or with family and friends. They would also be suitable to print out and take with you if you are planning to spend some time in church between the hours of 12 noon and 3 pm on Good Friday. Along the walls of St. John’s we have a set of  simple oak framed Stations of the Cross taken from 19th Century Italian prints that came from the former Most Blessed Sacrament Mission Chapel in San Francisco. (Fr. Leo)

    

The Seven Last Words of Christ

A Devotion for Holy Week

In the 17th century, Jesuit missionaries in Peru developed a service of meditations for GoodFriday based on the seven recorded utterances of Jesus from the Cross. Based on the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola, this Good Friday devotion developed into a three-hour service of preaching. Haydn was asked to compose music for use on Good Friday in the Cathedral in Cadiz and he described the service thus:

At midday, the doors were closed and the ceremony began. After a short service the bishop ascended the pulpit, pronounced the first of the seven words (or sentences) and delivered a discourse thereon. This ended, he left the pulpit and fell to his knees before the altar. The interval was filled by music. The bishop then in like manner pronounced the second word, then the third, and so on, the orchestra following on the conclusion of each discourse.

Later, musical meditations based on the Seven Last Words were composed to stand on their own, rather than as an additon to or enhancement of preaching. One such composition was written by Charles Tournemire, a student of César Franck and his successor as organist at the Basilica of St. Clotilde, Paris. The following brief devotion was compiled as part of a Holy Week service that featured Les Sept Paroles du Xrist of Tournemire. The complete Tournemire composition is now available on YouTube, with readings from devotional literature, performed in the Duke University Chapel by Iain Quinn, Director of Cathedral Music and Cathedral Organist at St John's Cathedral, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

 

The Seven Last Words of Christ

Assist us mercifully with your help, O Lord God of our salvation, as we enter upon the contemplation of those mighty acts, whereby you have given us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

I.  Pater dimite illis nessiunt enim quid faciunt.

    The First Word:  Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

O my people, what have I done unto thee?

Or wherein have I wearied thee?

Testify against me.

Because I brought thee forth from the land of Egypt:

thou hast prepared a Cross for thy Saviour.

Holy God,

Holy Mighty,

Holy Immortal, have mercy upon us.

Because I led thee through the desert forty years,

and fed thee with manna,

and brought thee into a land exceeding good:

thou hast prepared a Cross for thy Saviour.

Holy God,

Holy Mighty,

Holy Immortal, have mercy upon us.

                                --The Solemn Reproaches of Good Friday

“At that time, Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas; and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. And the soldiers led him away....” [Mark 15:15-16a]

“When they came to the place which is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”   [Luke 23:33-34a]

 

II. Hodie mecum eris in Paradiso.

    The Second Word:  Today you will be with me in Paradise.

I love the Lord, because he has heard the voice of my supplication,* because he has inclined his ear to me whenever I called upon him.

The cords of death entangled me; the grip of the grave took hold of me;* I came to grief and sorrow.

Then I called upon the Name of the Lord:*  “O Lord, I pray you, save my life.”

Gracious is the Lord and righteous;* our God is full of compassion.

I will walk in the presence of the Lord * in the land of the living. 

                                                  --Psalm 116:1-4,8

O Master, Lord Jesus Christ our God, You made a way into Paradise for the penitent thief, and by death destroyed death: Cleanse us, your unworthy servants, for we fall into sin continuously and are not worthy to lift up our eyes and look upon the heights of heaven. Forgive us for departing from the path of righteousness and following the desires of our own hearts. [From the Prayers of the Ninth Hour of the Orthodox Office]

“One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation: And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”  [Luke 23:39-43]

 

III.  Mulier, ecce filius tuus.  Ecce Mater tua.

       The Third Word:  Woman, behold your son.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him…. Inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple…when the parents brought in the child Jesus….and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also….) [Luke 2: 25,27a,34-35a]

At the cross her station keeping,

Stood the mournful Mother weeping,

Where he hung, the dying Lord.

For her soul of joy bereaved,

Bowed with anguish, deeply grieved,

Felt the sharp and piercing sword.

While Jesus was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the one who told him, “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.”  [Matthew 12:46-50]

Who on Christ’s dear Mother gazing,

Pierced by anguish so amazing,

Born of woman, would not weep?

Who on Christ’s dear Mother thinking,

Such a cup of sorrow drinking,

Would not share her sorrows deep?

                                         --Stabat Mater (Latin, 13th century)

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!”  [John 19:25b-27a]

 

IV.  Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani.

       The Fourth Word:  My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Behold and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow which was brought upon me, which the Lord inflicted on the day of his fierce anger.[Lamentations 1:12]

I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of his wrath; he has driven and brought me into darkness without any light; surely against me he turns his hand again and again the whole day long. He has made my flesh and my skin waste away, and broken my bones; he has besieged and enveloped me with bitterness and tribulation; he has made me dwell in darkness like the dead of long ago…. He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; my soul is bereft of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, “Gone is my glory, and my expectation from the Lord.” Remember my affliction and my bitterness, the wormwood and the gall! [Lamentations 3:1-6, 16-21]

Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” [Matthew 27:45-46]

 

V. Sitio.

     The Fifth Word:  I thirst.

As the deer longs for the waterbrooks,*

            so longs my soul for you, O God.

My soul is athirst for God, athirst for the living God;*

            when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?

While my bones are being broken,*

            my enemies mock me to my face;

All day long they mock me*

            and say to me, “Where now is your God?”  

                                                  --Psalm 42:1-2, 12-13

Reproach has broken my heart, and it cannot be healed;*

            I looked for sympathy, but there was none,

           for comforters but I could find no one.

They gave me gall to eat,*

            and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink. 

                                                  --Psalm 69:22-23

O my people, what have I done unto thee?

Or wherein have I wearied thee?

Testify against me….

What more could I have done for thee that I have not done?

I indeed did plant thee, O my vineyard, with exceeding fair fruit:

and thou art become very bitter unto me:

for vinegar mingled with gall, thou gavest me when thirsty:

and hast pierced with a spear the side of thy Saviour.

Holy God,

Holy Mighty,

Holy Immortal, have mercy upon us.

                                --The Solemn Reproaches of Good Friday

After this Jesus, knowing that all was now accomplished, to fulfill the scripture said, “I thirst.” [John 19:28]

 

 

VI. Pater, in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum.

      The Sixth Word:  Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.

“I called to the Lord, out of my distress, 

          and he answered me;

out of the belly of Sheol I cried, 

          and thou didst hear my voice.

For thou didst cast me into the deep, 

          into the heart of the seas,

          and the flood was round about me; 

all thy waves and thy billows passed over me. 

Then I said, ‘I am cast out from thy presence; 

          how shall I again look upon thy holy temple?’ 

The waters closed in over me, 

          the deep was round about me; 

weeds were wrapped about my head 

          at the roots of the mountains. 

I went down to the land 

          whose bars closed upon me for ever; 

yet thou didst bring up my life from the Pit, 

          O Lord my God. 

When my soul fainted within me, 

          I remembered the Lord; 

and my prayer came to thee, 

          into thy holy temple. 

Those who pay regard to vain idols 

          forsake their true loyalty. 

But I with the voice of thanksgiving 

          will sacrifice to thee; 

what I have vowed I will pay. 

          Deliverance belongs to the Lord!”  

                                                  --Jonah 2:1-9

There was darkness over the whole land…while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” [Luke 23:44b-46a]

 

 

VII. Consummatum est.

        The Seventh Word:  It is finished.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” …And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.  Thus the heavens and the earth were finished…. [Genesis 1:26-28, 31—2:1a].

Sunset to sunrise changes now, 

For God doth make his world anew; 

On the Redeemer’s thorn-crowned brow,

The wonders of that dawn we view.

Here in o’erwhelming final strife

The Lord of life hath victory,

And sin is slain, and death brings life,

And earth inherits heaven’s key.

                                                  --Clement of Alexandria

When Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished”; and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. [John19:30]

TTTTsssTheStations of the Cross

The Way of the Cross

At  least as early as the fourth century, pilgrims to the Holy Land were conducted to the sites of various biblical events, especially events in the life of Jesus, and it was customary for readings and prayers appropriate to the place and the event to be offered. The official recognition of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine made public worship at these sites possible and his mother, Saint Helena, sponsored the construction of some of the most important churches on these sites, in particular the Basilica of the Resurrection at the site of Calvary and the Tomb of Jesus, which quite naturally became the principal focal point of pilgrimages to the Holy Land. We do not know when the devotion of Stations of the Cross began, but there can be no doubt that its roots are to be found in the flowering of commemorations associated with specific places in the life of  Jesus.

Furthermore, we know that pilgrims who were fortunate enough to visit the Holy Land, were anxious to keep alive the spirit of their pilgrimage after they returned home. For example, there are medieval round churches in England that intentionally recall the great rotunda of the Church of the Resurrection (or Holy Sepulchre as it later came to be known). In the seventeenth century, Patriarch Nikon of Russia built the Monastery of New Jerusalem with a church complex laid out on a foundation identical to Holy Resurrection in Jerusalem.  Replicas of the Way of the Cross in Europe are first recorded in the fifteenth century. At that time the program was rather fluid, with the number of stations and the events commemorated varying considerably. An English pilgrim in the fifteenth century, William Wey, reported that the Way of the Cross began at Calvary and moved in reverse order to Pilate's House. He tells of fourteen stations, but only five of them correspond to the stations as we observe them today. As the custodians of the Holy Land, the Franciscans were given special privileges regarding stations. Since the end of the seventeenth century it has been customary that, whenever possible, Franciscans erect the stations in churches. However, it was not until the eighteenth century that the number of stations (14) and the particular stations to be observed were set by Pope Clement XII.

While the devotion is often conducted corporately, especially in Lent, it is essentially a private devotion which the faithful may use at any time. There is no set content for Stations of the Cross, other than the particular fourteen events--nine directly biblical and five conjectural. Some Anglican churches have always limited the devotion to the biblical stations and the late Pope John Paul II created a new set of 14 entirely biblical stations which begin in the Garden of Gethsemane and end with the Resurrection. In any case, the traditional pattern is simply to walk the Way of the Cross, or a symbolic representation of it, and to pause for meditation and prayer at the points marking each event on the way. Stations may be installed on the walls of a church or constructed out of doors...

There are a variety of written texts available to assist the worshiper. The Adoramus te ("We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you: because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world") is a standard part of the text. The devotion has had a strong identification with the Mother of Jesus and it is a well-established practice to sing verses of the thirteenth century hymn Stabat Mater(Hymn #159The Hymnal 1982) while walking from station to station. The meditations offered here are drawn from the The Way of Love - The stations of the Cross today by Father Johan Strydom(used with his kind permission) from a link on the Full Homlely Divinity web site. 

 

THE FIRST STATION

Jesus is condemned to death.

We adore you O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

The chief priests and the elders, however, had persuaded the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas and the execution of Jesus. So when the governor spoke and asked them, "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" they said, "Barabbas." "But in that case," Pilate said to them, "what am I to do with Jesus who is called Christ?" They all said, "Let him be crucified!" Then Pilate saw that he was making no impression, that in fact a riot was imminent. So he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd and said: "I am innocent of this man's blood. It is your concern." And the people, to a man, shouted back: "His blood be on us and on our children!" Then he released Barabbas for them. He ordered Jesus first to be scourged and then handed over to be crucified.

Matthew 27:20-26

Lord, so many times every day people are condemned: judged and rejected for who or what they are. Forgive me for the times that I have washed my hands  of my responsibilities and have not had the courage  to speak out or do what is most loving. Help me never to be indifferent, but to accept and love others as you did. I give to you the memories of all the times that I have been wrongly accused, harshly judged or rejected and trust that you will heal me.

I love you, Jesus, my love, above all things. I repent with my whole heart of having offended you. Never permit me to separate myself from you again. Grant that I may love you always, and then do with me what you will.

 

THE SECOND STATION

Jesus takes up his Cross.

We adore you O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

The governor's soldiers took Jesus with them into the Praetorium and collected the whole cohort around him. There they stripped him and made him wear a scarlet cloak and, having twisted some thorns into a crown, they put this on his head and placed a reed in his right hand. To make fun of him they knelt to him saying, "Hail, king of the Jews!" And they spat on him and took the reed and struck him on the head with it. And when they had finished making fun of him they took off the cloak and dressed him in his own clothes and led him away to crucify him ...

Matthew 27:27-31

... and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called the place of the skull.

John 19:17

Lord Jesus, I take up my daily cross, whatever it may be: disappointments, problems, worries, sickness, loneliness, hard work, hurts from others. I unite my sufferings with yours, and so I know that in carrying my cross I am carrying yours with you. Help me never to complain and become embittered, but to trust that you will bring forth from my cross only that which is good and redemptive for me and others. Strengthen me as I take on your yoke which is sweet and your burden which is light.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. 

 

THE THIRD STATION

Jesus falls the first time.

We adore you O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

It was essential that he should in this way become completely like his brothers (and sisters) so that he could be a compassionate and trustworthy high priest of God's religion, able to atone for human sins. That is, because he has himself been through temptation he is able to help others who are tempted.

Hebrews 2:17-18

Lord, I often fall in my journey towards you, through sin or human weakness. I have also caused others to fall. Help me to realise that it is not falling that really matters, but getting up again, like you did, and carrying on with trustful perseverance. Let me keep my eyes focused on you and your merciful and unconditional love. May I always be compassionate to those who have fallen and give them all the support I can.

I love you, Jesus, my love, above all things. I repent with my whole heart of having offended you. Never permit me to separate myself from you again. Grant that I may love you always, and then do with me what you will.

 

THE FOURTH STATION

Jesus meets his afflicted mother.

We adore you O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

And the angel came to her and said. "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her: "Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give HIM the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there will be no end."

Luke 1:28-33

Dear Jesus, your mother sees you carrying your cross, and she can feel everyone of your wounds. What profound expression of pain and love must have been in her eyes as you met on the way to Golgotha. A sword indeed pierced her heart, and you knew that she shared your agony. We often have to watch the pain of our loved ones also, their griefs, heartaches, and illness. Others have to watch my pain. Your mother's suffering caused you pain, and yet her loving presence strengthened you. May we always have the support of the loving presence of our loved ones when we need them most.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.

 

THE FIFTH STATION

Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry his Cross.

We adore you O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

On their way out, they came across a man from Cyrene, Simon by name, and enlisted him to carry his cross.

Matthew 27:32

Lord, give me a willingness to help carry other people's burdens. Enable me to realise that when I help other people I am being like Simon of Cyrene, that I am helping you and giving you strength. I am identifying with Simon each time I do a cleaning chore carry an object for someone, listen to someone patiently, fetch something from the shop, or pray for someone. I know, Lord, that you are the one I help when I feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the sick. May I always remember that any kindness I extend to others, I really give to you.

Lord, for the times that I have not helped someone in need to carry their burden: Lord have mercy.

Lord have mercy.

Lord, for the times I have been unwilling to share my strength, my goods, or my talents: Christ have mercy.

Christ have mercy.

Lord, for the times I have not shared your truth and love with others. Lord have mercy.

Lord have mercy.

Whoever does not carry his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:27 

 

THE SIXTH STATION

Veronica wipes the face of Jesus.

We adore you O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

"For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me; sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me." Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, "Lord, when did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?". And the King will answer, "I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers (and sisters) of mine, you did it to me."

Matthew 25:35-40

Lord Jesus Christ, your face is everywhere where suffering exists and you await me to wipe away your blood and tears. Every time I have the courage and compassion to wipe your suffering face, your image and likeness will be imprinted on my soul. I will be transformed, so that you will live and love in me. Help me then to reveal your loving and beautiful face to others. Help me to see you present in others. It is your face, Lord, that I seek.

Let everyone then see us as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

1 Cor. 4:1 

 

THE SEVENTH STATION

Jesus falls the second time.

We adore you O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Yet he was pierced through for our faults, crushed for our sins. On him lies a punishment that brings us peace and through his wounds we are healed. We had all gone astray like sheep, each taking his own way, and the Lord burdened him with the sins of all of us.

Isaiah 53:5-6

Lord Jesus, I know the humiliation of failing and the fear of ridicule and rejection. I dread giving scandal to others. May I learn from your second fall how important it is to to persevere in doing good, loving you and loving others. Let me never sink into the trap of self-pity, remorse, neurotic guilt and self-condemnation. Even though my efforts fail so often and I may feel that I cannot go on, let me give my burden to you, trust in you and carry on. I trust that you are always with me and that you hold me in the palm of your hand. With you I can do all things. I thank you that through your obedient love you have raised up a fallen world.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

THE EIGHTH STATION

Jesus consoles the women of Jerusalem.

We adore you O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

Large numbers of people followed him, and of women too, who mourned and lamented for him. But Jesus turned to them and said: "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me: weep rather for yourselves and for your children..."

Luke 23:27-28

Lord Jesus, you said: "Blessed are those who mourn...". With the women of Jerusalem we mourn and grieve over the evil that is being done in the world, and over our own sins. Although your suffering is great, you reach out to others and give them wise counsel, you make them aware of their own impending suffering, and their need of being prepared. I often become short-tempered with others and impatient when I am suffering. Help me to control my tongue when the situation is difficult, and to remain gentle and loving. With your Grace and guidance I shall be able to face any challenge or trial.

May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy!

Psalm 125:5

 

THE NINTH STATION

Jesus falls the third time.

We adore you O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

He had not done anything wrong and there had been no perjury in his mouth. He was insulted and did not retaliate with insults; when he was tortured he made no threats but he put his trust in the righteous judge. He was bearing our faults in his own body on the Cross, so that we might die to our faults and live for holiness; through his wounds you have been healed. You had gone astray like sheep but now you have come back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

1 Peter 2:22-24

Lord Jesus, sometimes I may plunge into the darkness of depression and anxiety, falling very low. May I never give in to despair, but always trust that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Even when all my strength is gone, like yours when you fell for the third time, let me struggle up and keep trying to go on, one day at a time. Your purpose to redeem the human race and to reveal the Father's love enabled you to carry on. May I never lose sight of the purpose and meaning of my life: to know, love, reverence, praise and serve you.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbours as yourself.

Luke 10:27

 

THE TENTH STATION

Jesus is stripped of his garments.

We adore you O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

They took his clothing and divided it into four shares, one for each soldier. His undergarment was seamless, woven in one piece from neck to hem; so they said to one another, "Instead of tearing it, let's throw dice to decide who is to have it". In this way the words of scripture were fulfilled: 'They shared out my clothing among them. They cast lots for my clothes.'

John 19:23-24

Lord Jesus, you once said that we should not be overly concerned about our food and clothes, and here you are stripped to stand naked before us. You who own the whole universe, stands poor and stripped of even your dignity. Yet you are immeasurably rich, since you possess the Father's love. Here and now I give you all that I possess and all that I am. Strip me of any craving for prestige, wealth and status. Enable me to feel solidarity with all of humanity. Forgive me for any part I may have had in the stripping of another person of their dignity and self-worth. Heal me from my lustful and immodest thoughts and actions, that I may give to each person the reverence and love due to them as created in your image.

Though he was rich, yet for our sake he became poor. So that by his poverty we might become rich.

2 Cor. 8:9

 

THE ELEVENTH STATION

Jesus is nailed to the Cross.

We adore you O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

When they reached the place called The Skull, they crucified him there and the two criminals also, one on the right, the other on the left. Jesus said: "Father, forgive them: they do not know what they are doing."

Luke 23:33-34

Lord Jesus, now  you are lifted up and glorified, so that in revealing the infinite love of the Father you can draw all people to yourself. What agony and pain you endured for love of me. On the cross you knew me by name and you suffered to redeem me. All my sins and the sins of the whole world were nailed to the cross. For this sacrifice of love you came into the world. I want to live and to die for you and with you. I offer you all my pain and sorrow and identify with your forgiveness of those who hurt you.

Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart.

Matthew 11:28-29

 

THE TWELFTH STATION

Jesus dies on the Cross.

We adore you O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

It was now about the sixth hour and, with the sun eclipsed, a darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. The veil of the Temple was torn right down the middle, and when Jesus had cried out in aloud voice, he said: "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." With these words he breathed his last.

Luke 23:44-46

Lord Jesus, what powerful words you speak from the Cross: "Father, forgive them ... Today you will be with me in paradise ... My God, My God, why have you forsaken me ... Woman, behold your son ... behold your mother. I thirst ... Into your hands I commit my spirit ... It is accomplished." What agonizing pain it cost you to speak those words. Words filled with life, trust and love. Words which enable me to face my own hour of death, which I consecrate to you. By your dying you have destroyed the meaninglessness of my death and made it an entrance into the bosom of the Father.

Christ for our sake became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.

Philippians 2:8

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and the the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

 

THE THIRTEENTH STATION

Jesus is taken down from the cross.

We adore you O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

After this, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus - though a secret one because he was afraid of the Jews - asked Pilate to let him remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave permission, so they came and took it away.

John 19:38

"All you who pass by, look and see if there is any sorrow like my sorrow, which was brought upon me ... Hear how I groan, there is none to comfort me. My eyes are spent with weeping, my soul is troubled; my heart is poured out in grief"

Lamentations 1:121:212:11

Your mother's grief is heart-rending when your life-less body is laid in her arms. I must also part from those I love and behold them as they lie in death or as they wave good-bye. Help me also to let go and thus to discover new life which will dawn. As Mary shared in your Passion, so I want to be united with you in all that I have to endure. And thus may a multitude of souls be brought to you.

Although I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for you are beside me.

Psalm 23:4

 

THE FOURTEENTH STATION

Jesus is laid in the tomb.

We adore you O Christ, and we praise you.

Because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

 

They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, following the Jewish burial custom. At the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in this garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been buried. Since it was the Jewish day of preparation and the tomb was near at hand, they laid Jesus there.

John 19:40-42

Lord Jesus, as your mortal life ends, and your work is accomplished, our life in you, and your work in and through us begins. Let us be the signs and instruments of your Life and Kingdom, and let your love shine through us to all. In us you are still healing, teaching and suffering to bring your purpose to completion. In the darkness of the tomb the light of your promise and power is burning, awaiting the dawn of the new life of Grace.

"I am the resurrection and the life!, says Jesus "The person who believes in me will never die".

John 11:25

I love you Jesus, my love, above all things. I repent with my whole heart of having offended you. Never permit me to separate myself from you again. Grant that I may love you always, and then do with me what you will.

 

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

Happy 75th Birthday to parishioner Anne Barquist on April 15th and to all who are celebrating a Birthday or Anniversary in April! (I will have the list of the rest of the celebrants inThe Herald next week.)

 

Let’s Celebrate!

St. John’s parishioners are invited to a Spirit Party: Appreciating Our Time, Talents and Treasure, Saturday, May 3, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hidden Valley Lake home of Senior and Junior Wardens Susanne and Lyle La Faver.

Come enjoy fancy hors d’oeuvres, wine, sparkling cider, coffee, tea, and cake in their home and garden at 18314 Sugarbush Court, Hidden Valley Lake.

God heard our prayers. St. John’s community outreach ministries are thriving due to your time, talents and treasure. Let’s celebrate together.

Come prepared to share your “signature experiences” at St. John’s. Tell why you worship at this little church on the corner and how your involvement feeds you spiritually. Your input will help us with grant writing!

Please RSVP by Monday, April 28, for Hidden Valley Lake gate entrance by contacting us via phone 987-1146 or susanne.lafaver@att.net .  Directions to come.

 

ALTAR GUILD

The Altar Guild is looking for new members, if this is a ministry you would like to be a part of or if you would like more information please contact Barbara Knight, or another Altar Guild member.

                                                                                                                            Please pray for...

  For our Church and Clergy: ‡Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury; ‡Katharine, Presiding Bishop; +Barry, our Bishop; Fr. Leo+, our Parish Priest; Bryan, our Deacon; the clergy & people of the Diocese of Northern California; and Christians in the Holy Land and Middle East.

For all in need, especially: Fr. Leo+, Deacon Bryan, Rev. Blake+ Leighton, Anne Barquist,June Salter, Ava Jade Steilen, Ruth Eason, Doug Norton, Ron & Eileen, Norah & Jerry,Michael Clore, Mickey Fahnestock, Jane Duffty, Jim Wilson, Dr. Marie Crail, ClementineHall, SuzetteTyler Duncan, Cathy Rooker, Elenda Duryea, Chrystina Harris, Ted Davies,Dave Cowles, Karen Bennetto, Judy Lee, Eila Lintuneh, and Rob & Terri Millberry.

(To add someone to the prayer list, please call Leila at 263-4565 or e-mailLdh1218@sbcglobal.net.)

  

Announcements

If you would like to host the Hospitality Hour after Sunday Service please sign the  Hospitality Hour Schedule in Carey Hall.

Please bring offerings of nonperishable foods for the Food Pantry. As we continue our outreach to the needy in our community, your donations are always appreciated and needed to sustain this vital service.  Also, your monetary donations are always appreciated and needed to sustain this vital service. Your dollar buys much more food when we purchase in bulk. 

 Thank you.

Opportunity to serve St. John’s: If you’re friendly and frequent thrift stores, perhaps you’re just the person to volunteer in the thrift Shop.  Volunteers are needed, especially to help sort the overstock.   Even an hour or two would be appreciated. If you’re interested, leave a message for Ginger Ingersol, thrift shop manager, at (707) 245-3147.  The shop is openTuesdayWednesday and Thursday 10 to 4 in the Church basement. 

Until further notice, the Thrift Store is not accepting donations. Volunteers are needed, especially to help sort the overstock; even an hour or two helps.  Please speak to Ginny Ingersoll or Deborah Smith if you can help.

The Food Pantry needs nonperishable foods.                                                                                                                                                               

You can reach Fr. Leo at 349-6563 or e-mail frleo@yahoo.com

 

“Focus on the mission; stay together; 

keep moving forward,in the Name of Christ.”  

(Bishop Barry Beisner)




April 5, 2014, 9:25 AM

April 4, 2014

The St. John's Herald

The voice of the Episcopal Church in Lake County

St. John's Church

(Episcopal)

1190 North Forbes Street, Lakeport, California 95453

 

You can reach Fr. Leo at 349-6563 or e-mail frleo@yahoo.com

 

St. John’s Church vision statement:

We are a visible, welcoming family of Christ, 

resolved to deepen our relationship with God.

 

 

April 4, 2014

 

Dear Folks,

Time seems to be moving at such a rapid pace this year and it is hard to believe that Lent, which usually seems endless, is now almost over. I pray that you have experienced some measure of accomplishment on the Lenten practices you set for yourself five weeks ago. If not, this is the time to get back on track for these last two weeks before Easter. 

 One of Lent’s key objectives is reconciliation, and that ultimately entails forgiveness. In ancient times those who were separated from Christian community were received back into communion by the bishop at a special service of reconciliation on the morning of MaundayThursday. They then set aside their penitential garb and were prepared to celebrate the Pascal Mysteries with their sisters and brothers in Christ.     

One of my regular practices each year during this final stretch of Lent is the practice of forgiveness and seek reconciliation. As we all know who have given this practice a try- it is easier said than done! Nonetheless, it is do-able and and must be done if we dare to call ourselves Christians.

Last week or so I came across an article by retired archbishop Desmond Tutu on his experience with forgiveness and reconciliation which I have copied  below and highly recommend for your spiritual well-being. 

In keeping that, I ask forgiveness from each of you for anything I have done amiss, great or small, that was less than fully loving on my part toward you. You may just do so in your heard before God or you may choose to communicate the matter to me personally. 

For my part, please be assured of my complete forgiveness for any shortcomings I may have experienced with you in this past year. And may God through Christ forgive us all  for our failure to love as fully as we are able. Indeed, that foreignness and reconciliation is assured to each of us unconditionally in the Pascal Mystery. It is in entering into that mystery that we make that a reality in our lives and in our spiritual maturity.        

  Please keep me in your prayers and love as I continue to keep going, for as long as it is God’s Will, to serve you as your parish priest.      

    God love you,

Fr. Leo+

 

 

Let’s Celebrate!

St. John’s parishioners are invited to a Spirit Party: Appreciating Our Time, Talents and Treasure, Saturday, May 3, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hidden Valley Lake home of Senior and Junior Wardens Susanne and Lyle La Faver.

Come enjoy fancy hors d’oeuvres, wine, sparkling cider, coffee, tea, and cake in their home and garden at 18314 Sugarbush Court, Hidden Valley Lake.

God heard our prayers. St. John’s community outreach ministries are thriving due to your time, talents and treasure. Let’s celebrate together.

Come prepared to share your “signature experiences” at St. John’s. Tell why you worship at this little church on the corner and how your involvement feeds you spiritually. Your input will help us with grant writing!

Please RSVP by Monday, April 28, for Hidden Valley Lake gate entrance by contacting us via phone 987-1146 or susanne.lafaver@att.net .  Directions to come.

 

 Music for the Fifth Sunday in Lent

Prelude  Thou Art The Way R. Unkel        Germany mid 1900's

Offertory If Thou But Trust God  JG Walther Germany early 1700's

Postlude Savior, When in Dust P. Bunjes Concordia late 1900's

Mel Taylor, Parish Organist

 

Healing Service on First Sunday of April

As was announced here a few weeks ago, we will bring back the monthly Healing Service that used to be celebrated at St. John’s after the Sunday Eucharist. If you feel the need for this special expression of faith, hope, and love while dealing with ongoing or occasional illness please remain in the church after the Postlude and gather around the altar rail. There our Ministers of Healing will lead  those gathered in prayer and in the biblical and apostolic practice of Laying on of Hands and Anointing with Blessed Oil of the Sick. With all the illness out there presently, many in our congregation can benefit from this ancient ritual imparting strength and consolation to those in need of spiritual and physical wholeness. If you know someone in you circle of acquaintances who is in special need, i his would be a special opportunity to invite to join you for church on one of these First Sundays.

 

Holy Week and Easter at St. John’s

 

Palm/Passion Sunday

At 10 am, following the Prelude, The Palm Sunday Liturgy will begin in the church with the Blessing and distribution of Palms. The clergy will process to the altar and continue with the Liturgy of the Word, leading into the Passion narrative according to the Gospel of St. Matthew, with the congregation participating in the narrative followed by an opportunity for silent meditation. The celebration of Holy Communion will conclude the Service.  

At noon on Good Friday we are invited to participate in an Ecumenical Service at one of the Lakeport churches (to be announced).

St. John’s Church will be open for prayer and meditation from 12 noon to 3 pm.

 

 

 

Desmond Tutu: 'I am sorry' – the three hardest words to say

Exclusive: The social activist and retired Anglican archbishop on seeing his father abuse his mother when he was a child and what he's learned since then about forgiveness

The Guardian, Friday 21 March 2014

 

Desmond Tutu  There were so many nights when I, as a young boy, had to watch helplessly as my father verbally and physically abused my mother. I can still recall the smell of alcohol, see the fear in my mother's eyes and feel the hopeless despair that comes when we see people we love hurting each other in incomprehensible ways. I would not wish that experience on anyone, especially not a child.

If I dwell on those memories, I can feel myself wanting to hurt my father back, in the same ways he hurt my mother, and in ways of which I was incapable as a small boy. I see my mother's face and I see this gentle human being whom I loved so very much and who did nothing to deserve the pain inflicted on her.

When I recall this story, I realise how difficult the process of forgiving truly is. Intellectually, I know my father caused pain because he himself was in pain. Spiritually, I know my faith tells me my father deserves to be forgiven as God forgives us all. But it is still difficult. The traumas we have witnessed or experienced live on in our memories. Even years later they can cause us fresh pain each time we recall them.

If I traded lives with my father, if I had experienced the stresses and pressures my father faced, if I had to bear the burdens he bore, would I have behaved as he did? I do not know. I hope I would have been different, but I do not know.

My father has long since died, but if I could speak to him today, I would want to tell him that I had forgiven him. What would I say to him? I would begin by thanking him for all the wonderful things he did for me as my father, but then I would tell him that there was this one thing that hurt me very much. I would tell him how what he did to my mother affected me, how it pained me.

Perhaps he would hear me out; perhaps he would not. But still I would forgive him.

Why would I do such a thing? I know it is the only way to heal the pain in my boyhood heart. Forgiveness is not dependent on the actions of others. Yes, it is certainly easier to offer forgiveness when the perpetrator expresses remorse and offers some sort of reparation or restitution. Then, you can feel as if you have been paid back in some way. You can say: "I am willing to forgive you for stealing my pen, and after you give me my pen back, I shall forgive you." This is the most familiar pattern of forgiveness. We don't forgive to help the other person. We don't forgive for others. We forgive for ourselves.  Forgiveness, in other words, is the best form of self-interest.

Forgiveness takes practice, honesty, open-mindedness and a willingness (even if it is a weary willingness) to try. It isn't easy. Perhaps you have already tried to forgive someone and just couldn't do it. Perhaps you have forgiven and the person did not show remorse or change his or her behaviour or own up to his or her offences – and you find yourself unforgiving all over again. It is perfectly normal to want to hurt back when you have been hurt. But hurting back rarely satisfies. We think it will, but it doesn't. If I slap you after you slap me, it does not lessen the sting I feel on my own face, nor does it diminish my sadness over the fact that you have struck me. Retaliation gives, at best, only momentary respite from our pain. The only way to experience healing and peace is to forgive. Until we can forgive, we remain locked in our pain and locked out of the possibility of experiencing healing and freedom, locked out of the possibility of being at peace.

As a father myself, raising children has sometimes felt like training for a forgiveness marathon. Like other parents, my wife, Leah, and I could create a whole catalogue of the failures and irritations our children have served up. As infants, their loud squalls disturbed our slumber. Even as one or the other of us stumbled out of bed, the irritation at being woken and the thoughts of the fatigue that would lie like a pall over the coming day gave way to the simple acknowledgment that this was a baby. This is what babies do. The loving parent slides easily into the place of acceptance, even gratitude, for the helpless bundle of tears. Toddler tantrums might provoke an answering anger in a mother or father, but it will be quickly replaced by the understanding that a little person does not yet have the language to express the flood of feelings contained in his or her body. Acceptance comes.

As our own children grew, they found new (and remarkably creative) ways of testing our patience, our resolve and our rules and limits. We learned time and again to turn their transgressions into teaching moments. But mostly we learned to forgive them over and over again, and fold them back into our embrace. We know our children are so much more than the sum of everything they have done wrong. Their stories are more than rehearsals of their repeated need for forgiveness. We know that even the things they did wrong were opportunities for us to teach them to be citizens of the world. We have been able to forgive them because we have known their humanity. We have seen the good in them.

In the 1960s, South Africa was in the fierce grip of apartheid. When the Bantu Education system of inferior education for black children was instituted by the government, Leah and I left the teaching profession in protest. We vowed we would do all in our power to ensure our children were never subjected to the brain-washing that passed for education in South Africa. Instead, we enrolled our children in schools in neighbouring Swaziland. Six times each year we made the 3,000-mile drive from Alice in the Eastern Cape to my parents' home in Krugersdorp. After spending the night with them, we would drive five hours to Swaziland, drop off or pick up the children at their schools and drive back to Krugersdorp to rest before the long drive home. There were no hotels or inns that would accommodate black guests at any price.

During one of those trips, my father said he wanted to talk. I was exhausted. We were halfway home and had driven 10 hours to drop the children at school. Sleep beckoned. We still had another 15-hour drive back to our home in Alice. Driving through the Karoo – that vast expanse of semi-desert in the middle of South Africa – was always trying. I told my father I was tired and had a headache. "We'll talk tomorrow, in the morning," I said. We headed to Leah's mother's home half an hour away. The next morning, my niece came to wake us with the news: my father was dead.

I was grief-stricken. I loved my father very much and while his temper pained me greatly, there was so much about him that was loving, wise and witty. And then there was the guilt. With his sudden death I would never be able to hear what he had wanted to say. Was there some great stone on his heart that he had wanted to remove? Might he have wanted to apologise for the abuse he had inflicted on my mother when I was a boy? I will never know. It has taken me many, many years to forgive myself for my insensitivity, for not honouring my father one last time with the few moments he wanted to share with me. Honestly, the guilt still stings.

When I reflect back across the years to his drunken tirades, I realise now that it was not just with him that I was angry. I was angry with myself. Cowering in fear as a boy, I had not been able to stand up to my father or protect my mother. So many years later, I realise that I not only have to forgive my father, I have to forgive myself.

A human life is a great mixture of goodness, beauty, cruelty, heartbreak, indifference, love and so much more. All of us share the core qualities of our human nature and so sometimes we are generous and sometimes selfish. Sometimes we are thoughtful and other times thoughtless; sometimes we are kind and sometimes cruel. This is not a belief. This is a fact.

No one is born a liar or a rapist or a terrorist. No one is born full of hatred. No one is born full of violence. No one is born in any less glory or goodness than you or me. But on any given day, in any given situation, in any painful life experience, this glory and goodness can be forgotten, obscured or lost. We can easily be hurt and broken, and it is good to remember that we can just as easily be the ones who have done the hurting and the breaking.

The simple truth is, we all make mistakes, and we all need forgiveness. There is no magic wand we can wave to go back in time and change what has happened or undo the harm that has been done, but we can do everything in our power to set right what has been made wrong. We can endeavour to make sure the harm never happens again.

There are times when all of us have been thoughtless, selfish or cruel. But no act is unforgivable; no person is beyond redemption. Yet, it is not easy to admit one's wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness. "I am sorry" are perhaps the three hardest words to say. We can come up with all manner of justifications to excuse what we have done. When we are willing to let down our defences and look honestly at our actions, we find there is a great freedom in asking for forgiveness and great strength in admitting the wrong. It is how we free ourselves from our past errors. It is how we are able to move forward into our future, unfettered by the mistakes we have made.

      

From our Dean, Matthew+ Lawrence

You, and all members of your congregation, are invited to the Spring Convocation of the Russian River Deanery, to be held May 10, 9:00 – 12:00, at Church of the Incarnation, 550 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa.

 

Business: we will elect a youth and a young adult representative to Diocesan Convention.  Please email the Dean if you have anyone you would like to nominate.  (revml@incarnationsantarosa.org).

 

Program:  Is there something going on in your congregation that you are especially proud of?  Or is there a topic about ministry or church that you’d love to engage others in a conversation about?  Come to the Russian River Convocation to share your best practices, or engage others with your best questions!

 

How it works: After a brief business meeting, we will gather in the large parish hall, in a large circle.  If you have a ministry that you are particularly proud of, or if you have a question or a topic that you would like to engage fellow Episcopalians with, you will have a couple of minutes to “pitch” your topic to the whole group.  A sign will be made that summarizes the topic and taped to the wall.  After everyone has had a chance to make their “pitch”, everyone simply goes to the sign that is most attractive to them, and engages the conversation with others who also show up there.  The conversation can be as structured or as informal as the convener would like.  If no one comes to your topic, take that as a sign, and you are free to move to one of the other areas that attracts you.  After a period of sharing and discussion, we will regroup, report on learnings, and see if there is another round of conversations people want to have.  The process could last until noon, or we may be done sooner, depending on what you bring to the conversation!  Please contact the Dean if you have specific questions.  See you then! 

The Very Rev. Dean Matthew Lawrence

 

ALTAR GUILD

The Altar Guild is looking for new members, if this is a ministry you would like to be a part of or if you would like more information please contact Barbara Knight, or another Altar Guild member.

Have your say....

Dear Fr. Leo,

        I've been thinking about hymns lately, not only because I miss singing them, but also because many people would also like to sing them if they were only a little ( a lot ) more singable. It is not fun to stand in church and stumble through a hymn that isn't familiar or  doesn't  have a pleasing melody no matter how well Mel plays them--and he does play the hymns very nicely--.

        I realize that the words are of some importance in alluding to the church year, but what good are the words if you can't sing the song?  I have gone through almost all of the hymns and have not found any unacceptable lyrics ( nothing about politics or sex ), so why can't we pick out 20 hymns that are enjoyable and familiar and sing them 5 or 6 times during the year if the congregation enjoys them and at the same time we could add in a few seasonal hymns to keep us currant on the church year?  I have a list of " favs " in the back of my hymnal and I'm sure many of the congregation have hymns that are special to them.  Maybe they could turn in a list of their favorites and we could use one or two each Sunday.

      These are just a few fleeting thoughts, but hymn choices have been an issue as long as I have been attending St. John's Church.

Lovingly,

Anne Barquist

 

(Dear Parishioners- I have been thinking along the same lines and would welcome input from the rest of the congregation. As soon as possible I will prepare a blank form to write down your “top twenty favorites” and return them to me after church or send them by email to me if you prefer. There’s no time to loose as we will soon be picking hymns for the upcoming Sundays after Easter. I know I have some Easter/Pentecost 

favorites and I’m quite sure many of you do also. Fr. Leo+

 

Who are We?  Whence, Whither, and Why?

Part V

On February 27, 2014 Episcopal Presiding Bishop Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Westminster College’s second annual C.S. Lewis Legacy Lecturer, treated the Westminster community to a profound and insightful discourse on the convergence of science and spirituality.  Entitled, “Who are We, Whence, Whither, and Why?”, Schori’s address took the audience on a deep and reflective journey through scientific theory and spiritual meaning of existence.

(Since the entire lecture is too lengthy to print in one edition of The Herald and too valuable to shorten, I chose to print it in 5 installments as spiritual and intellectual “food” for our Lenten Journey. 

I pray that you will find in it “refreshment” for your mind and spirit as we grapple with these big questions of “Who are We, Whence, Whither, and Why?” in this Lenten Season of reflection. 

I have to own, up front, that our brilliant Presiding Bishop is not an easy read for me, as may also be the case for some of you. Nevertheless, I found it well worth the effort to take this in small bites so as to savor every nuance of her capacity first as a scientist and also as a contemporary theologian. There is indeed a lot to chew on here. Fr. Leo)    

 

Westminster College

27 Feb 2014

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church

Part 5 

Ethic

The urgent significance of transcendent values arises when we ask the questions about how to live.  We’ve noted already the unitary nature of reality – that we are fundamentally related to all that is, having arisen from a common source and substance.  From that the worldviews formed by religious narratives of origin derive ethical systems that deal with issues of justice – the value assigned to different parts of the cosmos, and what right relationships among those elements looks like.  Wisdom is both the method of inculcating justice in human life and the internal human content of justice – what I know and what I do, and the transformation (truer or more beautiful or good) that results.  These are issues of transcendent significance, particularly in an era when human activity is rapidly depleting the life-giving and nurturing character of the environment in which we live.  For the first time, we have the ability to effect a global extinction event of the same magnitude as the great Cretaceous asteroidal fireball.

The interconnectedness of all evokes a responsibility for right use, for appropriate humility in caring for all members of the household.  What does a productive garden look like?  How do we steward the whole, or the small part we occupy?  The scientific story will continue to remind us that we aren’t capable of acting in isolation – and that the stochastic nature of things means the results of our actions will never be wholly predictable.  It’s an urge to caution, modesty, and consideration.  Even at a far more basic level, our behavior and decisions have to consider the implications of our action because of that level of unpredictability.  The garbage we throw out today will come back to us tomorrow – in some way – for there is nowhere we can throw it that is truly ‘away.’

We need to tell the stories of creation over and over, for it is the only way we will move from an anthropocentric view of the universe to a networked and systemic vision that understands our part in the whole.  Then we may look for meaning in life that serves the whole, rather than one microscopic mote.  For none of us truly matters unless all of creation does.

This is what C.S. Lewis understood so deeply.  Born in the Irish context of ancient domination by a power that saw his land as resource to be exploited, he looked toward a story of transformative justice, even if it required the giving of one’s life.  He looked deep into his community’s past, Celtic and Christian, tribal and communal, in search of an ethic that would transcend the story of exploitation and empire.  He kept telling the story in new contexts, in reflective and creative ways that have helped generations to see the fundamental truth and beauty and goodness that give ultimate meaning to life – each life and all of life.  We are born of stardust, and so are our neighbors – all our neighbors on this planet and beyond.  We share the dignity of the heavens, and we are bound for wholeness and oneness with all that is.  Our meaning is to be found in the life we live and the liveliness we leave around us and behind us.  That liveliness is fostered by the willingness to let go of it, that it may return in even greater strength.

The great sages and mystics have all understood the fundamental unity and interdependence of existence:  Dame Julian, Hildegard, Meister Eckart and Professor Einstein, Werner Heisenberg and Teilhard de Chardin, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Thomas Berry and Nelson Mandela.  The wisdom teachers of the ages counsel justice as the way to augment and increase the meaning and depth of life for all.  Justice is the fruit of self-awareness, humility, and the valuing of all – what the baptismal prayer in the Episcopal tradition describes as “an inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love [you], and the gift of joy and wonder in all [God’s] works.”(Book of Common Prayer p 308)

THE END

 

 

                                                                                                                                    From Lesser Feasts and Fasts...

April 7 - Tikhon, Patriarch of Russia, 

Confessor and Ecumenist, 1925

Vasily Ivanovich Belavin (Tikhon’s given name) was born January 19, 1865. He grew up in a rural area among peasants in a village where his father was a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church. Even as a child, he loved religion, and by age thirteen began his seminary training, where his classmates nicknamed him “Patriarch.” At 23, he graduated as a layman and began to teach moral theology. Three years later, he became a monk and was given the name Tikhon.

By 1897, he was consecrated Bishop of Lublin, and in 1898 became Archbishop of the Aleutians and Alaska, the leader of Slavic Orthodoxy in North America. Tikhon was held in such esteem that the United States made him an honorary citizen. While in this country, he established many new cathedrals and churches, and participated in ecumenical events with other denominations, in particular the Episcopal Church. In 1900, at the consecration of Bishop Reginald Weller as coadjutor of the Diocese of Fond du Lac, the diocesan, Bishop Grafton, invited Tikhon to sit on his own throne. The Archbishop would have participated in the laying-on-of-hands if the Episcopal House of Bishops had not forbidden it. Tikhon later established warm relations with the Diocese of California.

In 1907, Tikhon returned to Russia and a decade later was elected Patriarch of Moscow. The outbreak of the Russian Revolution threw the Church into disarray. When a severe famine caused many peasants to starve in 1921, the Patriarch ordered the sale of many church treasures to purchase food for the hungry. Soon the government began seizing church property for itself, and many believers were killed in defense of their faith. The Communists tried to wrest control of the Church from Tikhon, while he, in turn, attempted to shelter his people. To this end, he discouraged the clergy from making political statements that might antagonize the government. He prayed, “May God teach every one of us to strive for His truth, and for the good of the Holy Church, rather than something for our sake.” Imprisoned by the Soviets for more than a year, he was criticized both by the Communist Party and by those Orthodox bishops who believed he had compromised too much with the government. On April 7, 1925, he died, worn out by his struggles. In 1989, the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church glorified Patriarch Tikhon, numbering him among the saints of the Church.

Let us pray.   Holy God, holy and mighty, you call us together into one communion and fellowship: Open our eyes, we pray, as you opened the eyes of your servant Tikhon, that we may see the faithfulness of others as we strive to be steadfast in the faith delivered to us, that the world may see and know you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be glory and praise unto ages of ages. Amen.

 

April 8 - William Augustus Muhlenberg, Priest, 1877

William Augustus Muhlenberg was born in Philadelphia in 1796, into a prominent German Lutheran family, and was drawn to the Episcopal Church by its use of English. He deliberately chose to remain unmarried to free himself for a variety of ministries. As a young clergyman, he was deeply involved in the Sunday School movement, and was concerned that the Church should minister to all social groups. Aware of the limitations of the hymnody of his time, he wrote hymns and compiled hymnals, thus widening the range of music in Episcopal churches.

For twenty years he was head of a boys’ school in Flushing, New York, where many influential Churchmen were educated. The use of music, flowers, and color, and the emphasis on the Church Year in the worship there became a potent influence. In 1846, he founded the Church of the Holy Communion in New York City. Again, he was bold and innovative: free pews for everyone, a parish school, a parish unemployment fund, and trips to the country for poor city children. His conception of beauty in worship, vivid and symbolic, had at its heart the Holy Communion itself, celebrated every Sunday. It was there that Anne Ayres founded the Sisterhood of the Holy Communion. In 1857, the two of them founded St. Luke’s Hospital, where Muhlenberg was the pastor-superintendent and she the matron.

Muhlenberg’s concern for sacramental worship and evangelism led him and several associates to memorialize the General Convention of 1853, calling for flexibility in worship and polity to enable the Church better to fulfill its mission. The insistence of the “Memorial” on traditional Catholic elements—the Creeds, the Eucharist, and Episcopal ordination—together with the Reformation doctrine of grace, appealed to people of varying views. Although the Church was not ready to adopt the specific suggestions of the Memorial, its influence was great, notably in preparing the ground for liturgical reform and ecumenical action.

Muhlenberg’s last great project was an experiment in Christian social living, St. Johnland on Long Island. Although his dream of a Christian city was not realized, several of its philanthropic institutions survive.

Let us pray. Do not let thy Church close its eyes, O Lord, to the plight of the poor and neglected, the homeless and destitute, the old and the sick, the lonely and those who have none to care for them. Give us the vision and compassion with which thou didst so richly endow thy servant William Augustus Muhlenberg, that we may labor tirelessly to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

April 9 - Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Pastor and Theologian, 1945

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was born February 4, 1906. He studied at the universities of Berlin and Tuebingen. His doctoral thesis was published in 1930 as Commuunio Sanctorum.

From the first days of the Nazi accession to power in 1933, Bonhoeffer was involved in protests against the regime. From 1933 to 1935 he was the pastor of two small congregations in London, but nonetheless was a leading spokesman for the Confessing Church, the center of Protestant resistance to the Nazis. In 1935 Bonhoeffer was appointed to organize and head a new seminary for the Confessing Church at Finkenwald. He described the community in Life Together and later wrote The Cost of Discipleship.

Bonhoeffer became increasingly involved in the political struggle after 1939, when he was introduced to the group seeking Hitler’s overthrow. Bonhoeffer considered refuge in the United States, but he returned to Germany where he was able to continue his resistance. In May 1942 he flew to Sweden to meet Bishop Bell and convey through him to the British government proposals for a negotiated peace. The offer was rejected by the Allies who insisted upon unconditional surrender.

Bonhoeffer was arrested April 5, 1943, and imprisoned in Berlin. After an attempt on Hitler’s life failed April 9, 1944, documents were discovered linking Bonhoeffer to the conspiracy. He was taken to Buchenwald concentration camp, then to Schoenberg Prison. On Sunday, April 8, 1945, just as he concluded a service in a school building in Schoenberg, two men came in with the chilling summons, “Prisoner Bonhoeffer . . . come with us.” He said to another prisoner, “This is the end. For me, the beginning of life.” Bonhoeffer was hanged the next day, April 9, at Flossenburg Prison.

There is in Bonhoeffer’s life a remarkable unity of faith, prayer, writing and action. The pacifist theologian came to accept the guilt of plotting the death of Hitler because he was convinced that not to do so would be a greater evil. Discipleship was to be had only at great cost.

Let us pray. Gracious God, the Beyond in the midst of our life, you gave grace to your servant Dietrich Bonhoeffer to know and to teach the truth as it is in Jesus Christ, and to bear the cost of following him: Grant that we, strengthened by his teaching and example, may receive your word and embrace its call with an undivided heart; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

April 10 - William Law, Priest, 1761

“If we are to follow Christ, it must be in our common way of spending every day. If we are to live unto God at any time or in any place, we are to live unto him in all times and in all places. If we are to use anything as the gift of God, we are to use everything as his gift.” So wrote William Law in 1728 in A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life.

This quiet schoolmaster of Putney, England, could hardly be considered a revolutionary, yet his book had near-revolutionary repercussions. His challenge to take Christian living very seriously received more enthusiastic response than he could ever have imagined, especially in the lives of Henry Venn, George Whitefield, and John Wesley, all of whom he strongly influenced. More than any other man, William Law laid the foundation for the religious revival of the eighteenth century, the Evangelical Movement in England, and the Great Awakening in America.

Law came to typify the devout parson in the eyes of many. His life was characterized by simplicity, devotion, and works of charity. Because he was a Non-juror, who refused to swear allegiance to the House of Hanover, he was deprived of the usual means of making a living as a clergyman in the Church of England. He therefore worked as a tutor to the father of Edward Gibbon, the historian, from 1727 to 1737. He organized schools and homes for the poor. He stoutly defended the Sacraments and Scriptures against attacks of the Deists. He spoke out eloquently against the warfare of his day. His richly inspired sermons and writings have gained him a permanent place in Christian literature.

Let us pray. O God, by whose grace thy servant William Law, enkindled with the fire of thy love, became a burning and shining light in thy Church: Grant that we also may be aflame with the spirit of love and discipline, and may ever walk before thee as children of light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, liveth and reigneth, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

April 11 - George Augustus Selwyn,

Bishop of New Zealand, and of Lichfield, 1878

George Augustus Selwyn was born on April 5, 1809, at Hampstead, London. He was prepared at Eton, and in 1831 was graduated from St. John’s College, Cambridge, of which he became a Fellow.

Ordained in 1833, Selwyn served as a curate at Windsor until his selection as first Bishop of New Zealand in 1841. On the voyage to his new field, he mastered the Maori language and was able to preach in it upon his arrival. In the tragic ten-year war between the English and the Maoris, Selwyn was able to minister to both sides, and to keep the affection and admiration of both natives and colonists. He began missionary work in the Pacific islands in 1847.

Selwyn’s first general synod in 1859 laid down a constitution, influenced by that of the American Church, which was important for all English colonial Churches.

After the first Lambeth Conference in 1867, Selwyn was reluctantly persuaded to accept the See of Lichfield in England. He died on April 11, 1878, and his grave in the cathedral close has been a place of pilgrimage for the Maoris to whom he first brought the light of the Gospel.

Bishop Selwyn twice visited the Church in America, and was the preacher at the 1874 General Convention.

 

Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant George Augustus Selwyn, whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of New Zealand and Melanesia, and to lay a firm foundation for the growth of your Church in many nations. Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom, that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

Please pray for...

  For our Church and Clergy: ‡Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury; ‡Katharine, Presiding Bishop; +Barry, our Bishop; Fr. Leo+, our Parish Priest; Bryan, our Deacon; the clergy & people of the Diocese of Northern California; and Christians in the Holy Land and Middle East.

For all in need, especially: Fr. Leo+, Deacon Bryan, Rev. Blake+ Leighton, Anne Barquist,June Salter, Ava Jade Steilen, Ruth Eason, Doug Norton, Ron & Eileen, Norah & Jerry,Michael Clore, Mickey Fahnestock, Jane Duffty, Jim Wilson, Dr. Marie Crail, ClementineHall, SuzetteTyler Duncan, Cathy Rooker, Elenda Duryea, Chrystina Harris, Ted Davies,Dave Cowles, Karen Bennetto, Judy Lee, Eila Lintuneh, and Rob & Terri Millberry.

(To add someone to the prayer list, please call Leila at 263-4565 or e-mailLdh1218@sbcglobal.net.)

  

Announcements

This Sunday is the last chance to sign up on the bulletin board in Carey Hall to donate Easter lilies to decorate the altar on Easter Day.  Suggested donation is $10.00 each.

If you would like to host the Hospitality Hour after Sunday Service please sign the  Hospitality Hour Schedule in Carey Hall.

Please bring offerings of nonperishable foods for the Food Pantry. As we continue our outreach to the needy in our community, your donations are always appreciated and needed to sustain this vital service.  Also, your monetary donations are always appreciated and needed to sustain this vital service. Your dollar buys much more food when we purchase in bulk. 

 Thank you.

Opportunity to serve St. John’s: If you’re friendly and frequent thrift stores, perhaps you’re just the person to volunteer in the thrift Shop.  Volunteers are needed, especially to help sort the overstock.   Even an hour or two would be appreciated. If you’re interested, leave a message for Ginger Ingersol, thrift shop manager, at (707) 245-3147.  The shop is openTuesdayWednesday and Thursday 10 to 4 in the Church basement. 

Until further notice, the Thrift Store is not accepting donations. Volunteers are needed, especially to help sort the overstock; even an hour or two helps.  Please speak to Ginny Ingersoll or Deborah Smith if you can help.

The Food Pantry needs nonperishable foods.                                                                                                                                                               

You can reach Fr. Leo at 349-6563 or e-mail frleo@yahoo.com

 

“Focus on the mission; stay together; 

keep moving forward,in the Name of Christ.”  

(Bishop Barry Beisner)




March 29, 2014, 8:35 AM

March 28, 2014

The St. John's Herald

The voice of the Episcopal Church in Lake County

St. John's Church

(Episcopal)

1190 North Forbes Street, Lakeport, California 95453

 

You can reach Fr. Leo at 349-6563 or e-mail frleo@yahoo.com

 

St. John’s Church vision statement:

We are a visible, welcoming family of Christ, 

resolved to deepen our relationship with God.

 

 

March 28, 2014

 

Dear Folks,

Last Saturday the Hermitage hosted a day long Vestry Retreat which was organized by our new Senior Warden, Susanne LaFaver. It was a very productive day thanks to the hard work and focus of our Vestry Members. The day commenced at 9:30 am in the Oratory (chapel) with a simple service of Morning Prayer and continued in the house until the noon break with Midday Prayer in the Oratory. This was followed by a delicious potluck lunch and concluded with the March Vestry Meeting at 2 pm. After a stretch, we celebrated Holy Eucharist in the Oratory and everyone departed on time- work completed! What made it possible to accomplish so much in one working day was not only the discipline of those attending, but also the assistance of two “angels”. Vicky Maley and Carol Brabrook. They whipped up some great lunch dishes and kept the coffee and other drinks flowing allowing the Vestry to keep from getting distracted with the “Martha” tasks. Before everyone was down the hill everything was cleaned and put in place- perfect hosts! I am unable to do these things myself now, but everyone did their part. I was able to participate in much od the discussions and was still riding high through church the next morning. After I got home on Sunday was a different story and I have been struggling all week. Fortunately, I have a free “Fifth Sunday” and can continue to recuperate for a few more days.   

  Please keep me in your prayers and love as I continue to keep going, for as long as it is God’s Will, to serve you as your parish priest.      

    God love you,

Fr. Leo+

 

THANK YOU

“Thank you” -two little words that we hear several times each day that are pleasant to say and pleasant to hear.  

        For me, these two little words mean so much more than I could have ever imagined.  Today, they are two big words that come from the depths of my heart.  THANK YOU to all the kind and loving people of St. John's Church  who have shown such  great love and caring during my recent experience with chemo treatments.  Thank you for your cards and calls, food and visits, trips to Ukiah and to Sutter Lakeside Hospital, visits to see that I am OK, and all the other helpful chores that you have done and a big hug to Georgia Haugen for her weekly hand written letters of encouragement  and her bible quotes so that I don't forget God's love for us all.  Thank you Fr. Leo for your calls and the most spiritual healing service of all, and I've participated in many healing services.

        I will be continuing with the chemo treatments and would like to ask that you keep me in your prayers.

                                                                                                                                        I love you all,

                                             Anne

 

Update from Virginia Ingersoll ...

Thrift Store

This month we are celebrating the grand opening of our Garden Center. also, we have expanded our week to include Fridays. We are now open Tuesday - Friday 10 - 4. We are as excited as the community.

The store is staffed on Fridays by Carol Brabrook, Nancy Carter, and Nancy Williams.

we are anticipating that being open 4 days a week will increase the income for the church.

Also, Carol Brabrook has created a memorial area dedicated in the memory of her cousin, Sherry Spielman Robison who worked in the thrift store during the 70's and 80's. Sherry died in 1999. Carol purchased and planted a beautiful red twigged dogwood for the area and will be responsible for maintaining the area. 

Ability Road continues to come in each Thursday to help clean and maintain the store and to greet customers. One of the participants is being trained by me to deal with customers with purchases.

Children's Food Bank and Adult Emergency Pantry

is very active. with careful purchases we are now able to serve more families while spending less money. in the last year we acquired 7,401 lbs of food including 4.591 lbs of fresh produce from REFB. The estimated wholesale value is $10,616. the cost to us was $1,139.  We serve about 10 families of 2 -9 children each Thursday

 

Wellness Center

is expanding the number of classes offered to the community. 

We now offer a fitness yoga class MondayWednesday, and Friday 10:30 - 11:45 which includes lecture and exercise;

a therapeutic yoga class Tuesday and Thursday 10:30 - 11 :45 and a Pilates class Thursday at 9:00 and tuesday at 1:00. hopefully, in the near future we will offer a kids yoga class.

 

Treasurer

I will be the church lesion with our new bookkeeper starting in April. Willis Knight is training me and Mary to fill his very big shoes.

Submitted by Virginia Ingersoll

  

Let’s Celebrate!

St. John’s parishioners are invited to a Spirit Party: Appreciating Our Time, Talents and Treasure, Saturday, May 3, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hidden Valley Lake home of Senior and Junior Wardens Susanne and Lyle La Faver.

Come enjoy fancy hors d’oeuvres, wine, sparkling cider, coffee, tea, and cake in their home and garden at 18314 Sugarbush Court, Hidden Valley Lake.

God heard our prayers. St. John’s community outreach ministries are thriving due to your time, talents and treasure. Let’s celebrate together.

Come prepared to share your “signature experiences” at St. John’s. Tell why you worship at this little church on the corner and how your involvement feeds you spiritually. Your input will help us with grant writing!

Please RSVP by Monday, April 28, for Hidden Valley Lake gate entrance by contacting us via phone 987-1146 or susanne.lafaver@att.net .  Directions to come.

 

 Music for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

Prelude: Jesus, Thy Boundless Love Praetorius, Germany 1600's

Offertory: O Perfect Life of Love T. Canning Eastman 1900's

Postlude: The Glory of These Forty Days S.P Folkemer,USA 2005

Mel Taylor, Parish Organist

 

March Birthdays

Happy Birthday to: Teri Garrett (3/8), Jean Rigod (3/8), Anthony Farrington (3/10), and LoraHudson (3/14).

 

Healing Service on First Sunday of April

As was announced here a few weeks ago, we will bring back the monthly Healing Service that used to be celebrated at St. John’s after the Sunday Eucharist. If you feel the need for this special expression of faith, hope, and love while dealing with ongoing or occasional illness please remain in the church after the Postlude and gather around the altar rail. There our Ministers of Healing will lead  those gathered in prayer and in the biblical and apostolic practice of Laying on of Hands and Anointing with Blessed Oil of the Sick. With all the illness out there presently, many in our congregation can benefit from this ancient ritual imparting strength and consolation to those in need of spiritual and physical wholeness. If you know someone in you circle of acquaintances who is in special need, i his would be a special opportunity to invite to join you for church on one of these First Sundays.

      

The Fourth Sunday in Lent commonly called

Mothering Sunday

also known as Refreshment Sunday

(From the Full Homely Divinity web site)

The Fourth Sunday in Lent marks the middle of the Lenten fast and has traditionally been marked with special activities. It has various names, including Mothering Sunday andRefreshment Sunday. The former title is a reference to the fact that this was the traditional day for apprentices and young people "in service" (i.e., working as servants) to have a holiday to go home and visit their mothers, bringing with them presents.  Mothering Sunday is the original "mother's day" and reminds us of our natural mothers and also of our spiritual mother, the Church.  The occasion is marked with a special holiday confection called simnel cake, baked with fine flour, sugar, and fruit. Two recipes are provided below.  These modern recipes are considerably simpler than the original boiled and baked cakes described in the article.  In many churches today it is the custom to bring the simnel cake to church to be blessed and distributed.  It is appropriate to present the cake at the Altar, together with the alms and oblations, at the time of the Offertory.  It may be blessed either before the Great Thanksgiving or at the end of the service after the Post Communion Prayer.  A prayer of blessing is also given below.

 A Recipe for Simnel Cake

from St. Paul's Church, Salem, New York

3/4 cup butter               1/2 tsp. salt

2 cups sugar               3/4 cup raisins

4 eggs                        1 cup diced candied fruit

2 cups flour                1 cup almond paste

                   sugar icing glaze

Grease a large round deep cake pan (10") and set aside. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Blend in flour and salt, adding candied fruit and raisins last. Pour half of the batter into the cake pan. Roll out almond paste and place on top of the batter. Cover almond paste with remaining batter. Bake at 300º for one hour. Frost with confectioner’s sugar glaze.

 

Another Recipe for Simnel Cake

from St. Paul's Cathedral, Burlington, Vermont

Combine the following ingredients and bake in a greased loaf pan at 300º for one hour.

 

 

1/2 cup butter

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 ounces candied citron peel

11/2 cups currants (or raisins)

2 eggs

 

Cool the cake on a rack, then slice and wrap individual slices in foil or plastic wrap.

 

Blessing of Simnel Cake

Almighty God, giver of all joy: Receive at our hands this cake, that it may be to us a symbol of our communion with thee and with one another; as its flour was once scattered over our land as wheat and now is one, so let us be one in anticipation of thy gift of the new Jerusalem which, as thy redeemed people, is our joy, our hope, our destiny, and our home. Hear us, O Lord, through Jesus Christ thy Son, to whom with thee and the Holy Spirit be all honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

 

Hot Cross Buns

It is one of the peculiarities of the observance of the great fast of Lent that several of the customs surrounding it have to do with food:  pretzels, simnel cake, and hot cross buns.  Hot cross buns are perhaps the strangest of these customs as they are sweet rolls that are eaten on the most important fast of all, Good Friday.  The origins of this very English custom are not entirely clear.  It has been suggested that hot cross buns originated in the pagan cult that preceded Christianity in Britain.  But the earliest historical mention of them is traced to a 12th century English monk who is said to have marked buns with the sign of the cross in honor of GoodFriday.  A 14th century record tells how a monk of St. Albans distributed spiced cakes to the needy on Good Friday, inaugurating an annual tradition, though he carefully guarded his recipe.

Whatever their origins, there were certainly ideas associated with these buns that some would regard as superstitions.  Hot cross buns were eaten after sundown to break the Good Friday fast. In the Middle Ages, they were believed to have powers of protection and healing.  People would hang a hot cross bun from the rafters of their homes for protection through the coming year.  And if someone was sick, some of the dried bun would be ground into powder and mixed with water for the sick person to drink.

In the reign of Elizabeth I, when Roman Catholicism was banned, making the sign of the cross on the buns was regarded as popery and the practice was banned.  But neither Church nor State could suppress the popular custom, so legislation was enacted to limit consumption of hot cross buns to legitimate religious occasions such as Christmas, Easter, and funerals.  The familiar nursery rhyme, "Hot cross buns," derives from the call of the street vendors who sold them.

There are various recipes for the buns, but an authentic recipe should include currants and a cross either incised on the top of the buns or painted on with a sweet glaze.

  

Hot cross buns!

Hot cross buns!

One a penny, two a penny,

Hot cross buns!

Hot cross buns!

Hot cross buns!

If you haven't any daughters,

Give them to your sons!

One a penny, two a penny,

Hot cross buns!

Hot cross buns!

Hot cross buns!

If you haven't got a penny

A ha'penny will do.

If you haven't got a ha'penny,

Well God bless you.

 

Hot Cross Buns

by Dawn Copeman

 

"Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns,

One a penny, two a penny,

Hot Cross Buns."

 

The Hot Cross Bun is a wonderful, rich, spiced tea cake that tastes so delicious hot or cold that it seems a shame it's only available at Easter. The recipe has been with us since time immemorial, and there are two schools of thought as to the origins of this seasonal treat.

One version claims that it was originally made by the Anglo-Saxons as part of their spring festival honoring the goddess Eostre. This pagan version of the bun had the symbol of an ox horn on top, to represent Eostre. When the Christians adapted the festival, they replaced the horn with the cross, so as to make it a more acceptable part of the Christian Easter.

The other theory is that Hot Cross Buns were first baked in England in the 17th Century by a widowed mother, whose only son went away to sea. Legend has it that she promised to bake him a bun every Good Friday until he came home. She would hang the bun in her window and pray for her son's safe return. The son never returned home, but the woman continued to bake her buns in faith. When she died, the rest of her unnamed village continued the tradition.

Interestingly, no individual county claims Hot Cross Buns as its own recipe, so it is hard to say which version of the tale, if either, is true.

 

Hot Cross Buns (Makes 12)

4 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 level teaspoon allspice or mixed spice

1/2 stick butter

1/2 cup currants (or raisins or sultanas -- your personal preference)

1 oz yeast

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup milk

 

1. Sift the flour, salt and spice into a large bowl. Rub in the butter and then add the currants (or substitutes).

2. Warm the milk.

3. Cream the yeast and sugar together and add to the warm milk. Leave to rest for about ten minutes until batter is of spongelike consistency.

4. Add the milk mixture to the ingredients in the bowl and mix to form a dough.

5. Leave to rise in a warm place until dough has doubled in size.

6. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead well, then cut into twelve pieces.

7. Flatten each piece into a circle. using a knife, mark each piece deeply with a cross.

8. Allow to rest again for about ten minutes.

9. Bake in the oven at 400°F, 200°C or Gas Mark 6 for twenty minutes.

10. Glaze with sugar dissolved in water.

Whether you intend to celebrate Easter with traditional English recipes or with the relatively modern tradition of chocolate Easter Eggs, Happy Easter to you!

 

Rose Sunday is also observed on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, so we will continue our custom of blessing and distributing fresh roses as a sign of joy as Easter draws near. 

 

From our Dean, Matthew+ Lawrence

You, and all members of your congregation, are invited to the Spring Convocation of the Russian River Deanery, to be held May 10, 9:00 – 12:00, at Church of the Incarnation, 550 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa.

 

Business: we will elect a youth and a young adult representative to Diocesan Convention.  Please email the Dean if you have anyone you would like to nominate.  (revml@incarnationsantarosa.org).

 

Program:  Is there something going on in your congregation that you are especially proud of?  Or is there a topic about ministry or church that you’d love to engage others in a conversation about?  Come to the Russian River Convocation to share your best practices, or engage others with your best questions!

 

How it works: After a brief business meeting, we will gather in the large parish hall, in a large circle.  If you have a ministry that you are particularly proud of, or if you have a question or a topic that you would like to engage fellow Episcopalians with, you will have a couple of minutes to “pitch” your topic to the whole group.  A sign will be made that summarizes the topic and taped to the wall.  After everyone has had a chance to make their “pitch”, everyone simply goes to the sign that is most attractive to them, and engages the conversation with others who also show up there.  The conversation can be as structured or as informal as the convener would like.  If no one comes to your topic, take that as a sign, and you are free to move to one of the other areas that attracts you.  After a period of sharing and discussion, we will regroup, report on learnings, and see if there is another round of conversations people want to have.  The process could last until noon, or we may be done sooner, depending on what you bring to the conversation!  Please contact the Dean if you have specific questions.  See you then! 

The Very Rev. Dean Matthew Lawrence

 

Holy Week and Easter at St. John’s

 

Palm/Passion Sunday

At 10 am, following the Prelude, The Palm Sunday Liturgy will begin in the church with the Blessing and distribution of Palms. The clergy will process to the altar and continue with the Liturgy of the Word, leading into the Passion narrative according to the Gospel of St. Matthew, with the congregation participating in the narrative followed by an opportunity for silent meditation. The celebration of Holy communion will conclude the Service.  

At noon on Good Friday we are invited to participate in an Ecumenical Service at one of the Lakeport churches (to be announced).

St. John’s Church open for prayer&meditation 12 noon to 3 pm.

 

Stewardship Update

Thanks to Anne’s efforts, twenty-four parish members/families pledged a total of $25,820, plus time and talent contributions in vestry, altar guild, usher, worship leader, reader, lector, Eucharist minister, pastor/chaplain, counter, food program, thrift shop, garden, baking, prayers, prayer shawl ministry, birthday and anniversary cards, cards of encouragement to sick, flower arranging, help with property cleanup, hospitality and publicity.

 

Our Lenten Book Study

Prompted by a review I ran in The Herald a few months ago, Susanne LaFaver, our new Senior Warden, has selected Band of Angels as our Lenten book study. From the sample I’ve read, it seems like a good read by someone who has a grasp of history and a keen sense of humor. Susanne’s suggestion is that those who wish to participate meet each Sunday of Lent during the Hospitality Hour in the Collier Room for discussion on the previous week’s reading. That way we economize on our time and resources by not having to meet during the week. I suggest that we each take responsibility for purchasing our own copy of the book, either in Kindle or Hardcover format. This can be done online or (preferably) through a local book store. (If you are technologically challenged and  this is not possible, I will do the ordering for you.) Fr. Leo   

 

Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women by Kate Cooper (Author) 

Kindle $11.99  Hardcover $21.43

In this inspiring new history of the early Christian movement, award-winning historian Kate Cooper reveals a vivid picture of the triumphs and hardships of the first mothers of the infant church. As far as recorded history is concerned, women in the ancient world lived almost invisibly in a man's world. Piecing together their story from the few contemporary accounts that have survived requires painstaking detective work, but it can render both the past and the present in a new light. 

Following the lives of influential women across the first centuries of the church, Band of Angels tells the remarkable story of how a new way of understanding relationships took root in the ancient world. As Cooper demonstrates, women from all walks of life played an invaluable role in Christianity's growth to become a world religion. Peasants, empresses, and independent businesswomen contributed what they could to an emotional revolution unlike anything the ancient world had ever seen. By sharing the ideas that had inspired them, ancient women changed their own lives. But they did something more. Their story is a testament to what invisible people can achieve, and to how the power of ideas can change the world, one household at a time.

 

Who are We?  Whence, Whither, and Why?

Part IV

On February 27, 2014 Episcopal Presiding Bishop Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Westminster College’s second annual C.S. Lewis Legacy Lecturer, treated the Westminster community to a profound and insightful discourse on the convergence of science and spirituality.  Entitled, “Who are We, Whence, Whither, and Why?”, Schori’s address took the audience on a deep and reflective journey through scientific theory and spiritual meaning of existence.

(Since the entire lecture is too lengthy to print in one edition of The Herald and too valuable to shorten, I chose to print it in 5 installments as spiritual and intellectual “food” for our Lenten Journey. 

I pray that you will find in it “refreshment” for your mind and spirit as we grapple with these big questions of “Who are We, Whence, Whither, and Why?” in this Lenten Season of reflection. 

I have to own, up front, that our brilliant Presiding Bishop is not an easy read for me, as may also be the case for some of you. Nevertheless, I found it well worth the effort to take this in small bites so as to savor every nuance of her capacity first as a scientist and also as a contemporary theologian. There is indeed a lot to chew on here. Fr. Leo)    

 

Westminster College

27 Feb 2014

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church

 

Purpose and Meaning

Why are we here?  And how shall we live?  I’m going to insist that the way we understand the story or stories of origin ultimately shapes how we live our lives.  If we are going to be congruent creatures, and we can use different language for this – authentic, true, truly human, spiritually grounded, living moral lives – the framework through which we live has to have enough substance to energize, support, encourage, and inspire us through the vicissitudes and joys of life.  It has to offer sufficient meaning to give a sense of purpose to life.  Otherwise we wander forever in a dark and fairly empty existence, the best of which might be, “eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”

The stories we live by can be given or chosen, and both seem to be of importance.  A given one, whether inherited or enculturated, provides a container and boundaries for creative engagement.  To choose one means giving one’s heart to it, literally to love and believe it, expecting the framework to offer life – meaning in time of despair, urgency in the dog days, and moral choices that offer life to self and others.

 

Coherence and contrast

We can identify some commonality in all these stories of origin, identity, and purpose, some ground of congruence and coherence, rather than only their distinctiveness.  But it requires reflecting on our own reflection.

We’ve touched on some of this already.  The scientific story begins in a powerful burst of creativity out of which emerges all we can see and experience.  The religious stories also speak of common origins, either from the primordial chaos over which the creative spirit moves, yielding water, sun, earth, and creatures, or the garden from which the plants, animals, and human beings are created.  In each one, everything that is partakes of the same stuff – all that is, is related, connected, in ways ultimately beyond our full comprehension.  The dusty interconnections remind us that the human being’s true character ought to be one of humility, created of and connected to the earth – and the stars.

These stories evoke a unitary origin and a common identity for all parts of the cosmos.  The local is related to the general because of their/our common origin and identity; the immanent partakes of the transcendent.  There’s a lovely Hindu image that points to this – Indra’s net – something like a fishing seine, with a jewel at each node of the web, each jewel reflecting all others, something like a hologram.

These stories, both scientific and religious, encourage a reflective and learning attitude in their use, operating over years and generations.  Science “advances” by making hypotheses, gathering data to test the hypothesis, and then adjusts the hypothesis in an interative process until a fairly robust theory emerges.  Religious stories are born of reflection on human life and relationship and asking questions of meaning.  They develop theologically through praxis and reflection – doing and reflecting on the outcome of the deeds, and then adjusting the practice toward a more fruitful, life-giving, or virtuous result.  In both systems, questions and doubt are potential sources of growth and learning.

Paradigms shift when a theory or robust story no longer fits experience.  It is a profoundly disorienting experience for the communities involved, but it is a necessary kind of death that permits another more fruitful and heuristically useful story to emerge.  We can see it both in the kind of shift from Newtonian mechanics to relativity theory, and in the expansion of the first covenant biblical narrative to the second, Christian story.

We touched briefly on beauty and awe.  What happens when we consider the transcendent qualities of being in addressing these questions of greater meaning?

Beauty, goodness, and truth are aspects of existence that have long been considered to partake of the cosmic rather than only the local (immanent) context.(Explicit philosophizing about these concepts dates from at least the Pharaonic era.)   We’ve already noted the transcendent concept of unity – that all matter has a common source and origin.  The Egyptians and Greeks, and later Hindu and Abrahamic philosophers and theologians reconceived these as justice and wisdom.  Elements are present in the scientific worldview as well, particularly in the sense that true theories are elegant, simple, and beautiful. 

Part Five will continue next week.

 

ALTAR GUILD

The Altar Guild is looking for new members, if this is a ministry you would like to be a part of or if you would like more information please contact Barbara Knight, or another Altar Guild member.

                                                                                                                                    From Lesser Feasts and Fasts...

March 29 - John Keble, Priest, 1866

New ev’ry morning is the love 

Our wakening and uprising prove: 

Through sleep and darkness safely brought, 

Restored to life and power and thought.

These familiar words of John Keble are from his cycle of poems entitled The Christian Year (1827), which he wrote to restore among Anglicans a deep feeling for the Church Year. The work went through ninety-five editions, but this was not the fame he sought: his consuming desire was to be a faithful pastor, who finds his fulfillment in daily services, confirmation classes, visits to village schools, and a voluminous correspondence with those seeking spiritual counsel.

Keble, born in 1792, received his early education in his father’s vicarage. At fourteen, he won a scholarship to Oxford and graduated in 1811 with highest honors. He served the University in several capacities, including ten years as Professor of Poetry. After ordination in 1816 he had a series of rural curacies, and finally settled in 1836 into a thirty-year pastorate at the village of Hursley, near Winchester.

England was going through a turbulent change from a rural to an industrial and urban society. Among the reforms of the 1830’s, Parliament acted to abolish ten Anglican bishoprics in Ireland. Keble vigorously attacked this action as undermining the independence of the Church.

His Assize Sermon of 1833 was the spark that ignited the Oxford Movement. Those drawn to the Movement began to publish a series of “Tracts for the Times” (hence the popular name “Tractarians”)— which sought to recall the Church to its ancient sacramental heritage. John Henry Newman was the intellectual leader of the Movement, Edward Bouverie Pusey was the prophet of its devotional life, and John Keble was its pastoral inspiration.

Though bitterly attacked, his loyalty to his Church was unwavering. Within three years of his death at age 74, a college bearing his name was established at Oxford “to give an education in strict fidelity to the Church of England.” For Keble, this would have meant dedication to learning in order “to live more nearly as we pray.”

Let us pray. Grant, O God, that in all time of our testing we may know thy presence and obey thy will; that, following the example of thy servant John Keble, we may accomplish with integrity and courage that which thou givest us to do, and endure that which thou givest us to bear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

March 31 - John Donne, Priest, 1631

“Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls: It tolls for thee.”

These words are familiar to many; their author, John Donne, though less well known, is one of the greatest of English poets. In his own time, he was the best-known preacher in the Church of England. He came to that eminence by a tortuous path. Born into a wealthy and pious Roman Catholic family in 1573, he was educated at both Oxford and Cambridge, and studied law at Lincoln’s Inn. Some time later he conformed to the Established Church and embarked upon a promising political career of service to the State. The revelation of his secret marriage in 1601 to the niece of his employer, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, brought his public career to an end. In 1615, he was persuaded by King James the First and others to receive ordination.

Following several brief cures, Donne rose rapidly in popularity as Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, from 1622 until his death. He drew great throngs to the Cathedral and to Paul’s Cross, a nearby open-air pulpit. His sermons reflect the wide learning of the scholar, the passionate intensity of the poet, and the profound devotion of one struggling in his own life to relate the freedom and demands of the Gospel to the concerns of a common humanity, on every level, and in all its complexities.

In one of his poems, he wrote:

We thinke that Paradise and Calvarie, Christs Crosse, and Adams tree, stood in one place; Looke, Lord, and finde both Adams met in me; As the first Adams sweat surrounds my face May the last Adams blood my soule embrace.

So, in his purple wrapp’d receive mee Lord, By these his thornes give me his other Crowne; And as to others soules I preach’d thy word, Be this my Text, my Sermon to my owne. Therefore that he may raise the Lord throws down.

 

Let us pray. Almighty God, the root and fountain of all being: Open our eyes to see, with your servant John Donne, that whatever has any being is a mirror in which we may behold you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

April 1 - Frederick Denison Maurice, Priest, 1872

In the same year that Karl Marx declared religion to be the “opiate of the people,” Frederick Denison Maurice wrote, “We have been dosing our people with religion when what they want is not this but the living God.” Like Marx, Maurice wanted to solve the questions of our complex society; unlike Marx, he called for a radical, but non- violent, reform, by the renewal of “faith in a God who has redeemed mankind, in whom I may vindicate my rights as a man.” Maurice was a founder of the Christian Socialist Movement, which, he wrote, “will commit us at once to the conflict we must engage in sooner or later with the unsocial Christians and unchristian Socialists.”

Maurice was born in 1805 into the family of a Unitarian minister whose life was marked by intense religious controversy. Maurice studied civil law at Cambridge, but refused the degree in 1827, because, as a Dissenter, he could not subscribe to the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion. After several personal crises, however, he became an Anglican and was ordained in 1834. Soon afterwards he was appointed Professor of English Literature and History at King’s College, London, and, in 1846, to the chair of Theology.

In his book, The Kingdom of Christ, published in 1838, Maurice investigates the causes and cures of Christian divisions. The book has become a source of Anglican ecumenism. Maurice was dismissed from his professorships because of his leadership in the Christian Socialist Movement, and because of the supposed unorthodoxy of his Theological Essays (1853).

Maurice saw worship as the meeting point of time and eternity, and as the fountain of energies for the Church’s mission. He wrote, “I do not think we are to praise the liturgy but to use it. When we do not want it for our life, we may begin to talk of it as a beautiful composition.”

After the death of the Christian Socialist Movement in 1854, Maurice founded the Working Men’s College, and resumed teaching at Queen’s College, London. Maurice awakened Anglicanism to the need for concern with the problems of society. In later years, he was honored even by former opponents. He was rector of two parishes, and was professor of Moral Theology at Cambridge from 1866 until his death.

Let us pray. Almighty God, who hast restored our human nature to heavenly glory through the perfect obedience of our Savior Jesus Christ: Keep alive in thy Church, we beseech thee, a passion for justice and truth; that we, like thy servant Frederick Denison Maurice, may work and pray for the triumph of the kingdom of thy Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

April 2 - James Lloyd Breck, Priest, 1876

James Lloyd Breck was one of the most important missionaries of the Episcopal Church in the nineteenth century. He was called “The Apostle of the Wilderness.”

Breck was born in Philadelphia in 1818, and like many important Churchmen of his time, was greatly influenced by the pastoral devotion, liturgical concern, and sacramental emphasis of William Augustus Muhlenberg. Breck attended Muhlenberg’s school in Flushing, New York, before entering the University of Pennsylvania. Muhlenberg inspired him, when he was sixteen years old, to dedicate himself to a missionary life. The dedication was crystallized when Breck, with three other classmates from the General Theological Seminary, founded a religious community at Nashotah, Wisconsin, which in 1844 was on the frontier.

Nashotah became a center of liturgical observance, of pastoral care, and of education. Isolated families were visited, mission stations established, and, probably for the first time since the Revolution, Episcopal missionaries were the first to reach the settlers.

Though Nashotah House flourished, and became one of the seminaries of the Episcopal Church, the “religious house” ideal did not. Breck moved on to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he began the work of the Episcopal Church. At Gull Lake, he organized St. Columba’s Mission for the Chippewa. It laid the foundation for work among the Indians by their own native priests, although the mission itself did not survive.

In 1855, Breck married, and in 1858 settled in Faribault, Minnesota, where his mission was associated with one of the first cathedrals established in the Episcopal Church in the United States. He also founded Seabury Divinity School, which later merged with Western Theological Seminary, to become Seabury-Western. In 1867, Breck went on to California, inspired principally by the opportunity of founding a new, theological school. His schools at Benicia, California, did not survive, but the five parishes which he founded did, and the Church in California was strengthened immensely through his work. He died prematurely, at the age of 55, in 1876.

Let us pray. Teach thy Church, O Lord, we beseech thee, to value and support pioneering and courageous missionaries, whom thou callest, as thou didst call thy servant James Lloyd Breck, to preach, and teach, and plant thy Church on new frontiers; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

April 3 - Richard, Bishop of Chichester, 1253

Richard and his older brother Robert were quite young when their parents died, leaving a rich estate with a guardian to manage it. The guardian allowed the estate to dwindle, and Richard worked long hours to restore it.

Pressure was put on Richard to marry, but he, who from earliest years had preferred books to almost anything else, turned the estate over to his brother and went to Oxford. Often hungry, cold, and not always sure of his next day’s keep, Richard managed to succeed in his studies under such teachers as Robert Grosseteste.

He continued to study law at Paris and Bologna, earned a doctorate, and returned to Oxford to become University Chancellor. Shortly afterward, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Edmund Rich, appointed him to be his own chancellor. The friendship between the primate and his young assistant was close: Richard also became his biographer. Conflict with King Henry the Third eventually forced Archbishop Rich into exile in France, where Richard nursed him in his final illness. After the Archbishop’s death, Richard moved to the Dominican house at Orleans for further study and teaching. He was ordained priest in 1243.

He then returned to England, and was elected Bishop of Chichester in 1244. King Henry opposed the election, confiscated all the revenues of the diocese, and even locked Richard out of the episcopal dwelling. Richard was given lodging by a priest, Simon of Tarring. During these years he functioned as a missionary bishop, traveling about the diocese on foot, visiting fishermen and farmers, holding synods with great difficulty, and endeavoring to establish order. Threatened by the Pope, Henry finally acknowledged Richard as Bishop in 1246.

For eight years, he served his diocese as preacher, confessor, teacher, and counselor. While campaigning in 1253, for a new crusade against the Saracens, he contracted a fatal fever. Nine years after his death, he was canonized. His best remembered words are:

Dear Lord, of thee three things I pray: 

To see thee more clearly, 

Love thee more dearly, 

Follow thee more nearly.

Let us pray. We thank you, Lord God, for all the benefits you have given us in your Son Jesus Christ, our most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother, and for all the pains and insults he has borne for us; and we pray that, following the example of your saintly bishop Richard of Chichester, we may see Christ more clearly, love him more dearly, and follow him more nearly; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

April 4 (or January 15) - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Civil Rights Leader, 1968

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta. As the son and grandson of Baptist preachers, he was steeped in the Black Church tradition. To this heritage he added a thorough academic preparation, earning the degrees of B.A., B.D., and Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Boston University.

In 1954, King became pastor of a church in Montgomery, Alabama. There, Black indignation at inhumane treatment on segregated buses culminated in December, 1955, in the arrest of Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her seat to a white man. King was catapulted into national prominence as the leader of the Montgomery bus boycott. He became increasingly the articulate prophet, who could not only rally the Black masses, but could also move the consciences of Whites.

King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to spearhead non-violent mass demonstrations against racism. Many confrontations followed, most notably in Birmingham and Selma, Alabama, and in Chicago. King’s campaigns were instrumental to the passage of the Civil Rights acts of 1964, 1965 and 1968. King then turned his attention to economic empowerment of the poor and opposition to the Vietnam War, contending that racism, poverty and militarism were interrelated.

King lived in constant danger: his home was dynamited, he was almost fatally stabbed, and he was harassed by death threats. He was even jailed 30 times; but through it all he was sustained by his deep faith. In 1957, he received, late at night, a vicious telephone threat. Alone in his kitchen he wept and prayed. He relates that he heard the Lord speaking to him and saying, “Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness, stand up for justice,” and promising never to leave him alone—“No, never alone.” King refers to his vision as his “Mountain- top Experience.”

After preaching at Washington Cathedral on March 31, 1968, King went to Memphis in support of sanitation workers in their struggle for better wages. There, he proclaimed that he had been “to the mountain-top” and had seen “the Promised Land,” and that he knew that one day he and his people would be “free at last.” On the following day, April 4, he was cut down by an assassin’s bullet.

Let us pray. Almighty God, who by the hand of Moses thy servant didst lead thy people out of slavery, and didst make them free at last: Grant that thy Church, following the example of thy prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of thy love, and may strive to secure for all thy children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 

Please pray for...

  For our Church and Clergy: ‡Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury; ‡Katharine, Presiding Bishop; +Barry, our Bishop; Fr. Leo+, our Parish Priest; Bryan, our Deacon; the clergy & people of the Diocese of Northern California; and Christians in the Holy Land and Middle East.

For all in need, especially: Fr. Leo+, Deacon Bryan, Rev. Blake+ Leighton, Anne Barquist,June Salter, Ava Jade Steilen, Ruth Eason, Doug Norton, Ron & Eileen, Norah & Jerry,Michael Clore, Mickey Fahnestock, Jane Duffty, Jim Wilson, Dr. Marie Crail, ClementineHall, SuzetteTyler Duncan, Cathy Rooker, Elenda Duryea, Chrystina Harris, Ted Davies,Dave Cowles, Karen Bennetto, Judy Lee, Eila Lintuneh, and Rob & Terri Millberry.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Mrs. Dolores Beisner, who died peacefully on Sundayevening, March 16th. Mrs. Beisner was the mother of the Rt. Rev. Barry Beisner, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California. Your prayers are requested for the Beisner family and all who mourn.  Bishop Beisner thanks all of us for our prayers throughout this time.  

(To add someone to the prayer list, please call Leila at 263-4565 or e-mailLdh1218@sbcglobal.net.)

  

Announcements

Sign up on the bulletin board in Carey Hall to donate Easter lilies to decorate the altar on Easter Day.  Suggested donation is $10.00 each.

If you would like to host the Hospitality Hour after Sunday Service please sign the  Hospitality Hour Schedule in Carey Hall.

Please bring offerings of nonperishable foods for the Food Pantry. As we continue our outreach to the needy in our community, your donations are always appreciated and needed to sustain this vital service.  Also, your monetary donations are always appreciated and needed to sustain this vital service. Your dollar buys much more food when we purchase in bulk. 

 Thank you.

Opportunity to serve St. John’s: If you’re friendly and frequent thrift stores, perhaps you’re just the person to volunteer in the thrift Shop.  Volunteers are needed, especially to help sort the overstock.   Even an hour or two would be appreciated. If you’re interested, leave a message for Ginger Ingersol, thrift shop manager, at (707) 245-3147.  The shop is openTuesdayWednesday and Thursday 10 to 4 in the Church basement. 

Until further notice, the Thrift Store is not accepting donations. Volunteers are needed, especially to help sort the overstock; even an hour or two helps.  Please speak to Ginny Ingersoll or Deborah Smith if you can help.

The Food Pantry needs nonperishable foods.                                                                                                                                                               

You can reach Fr. Leo at 349-6563 or e-mail frleo@yahoo.com

 

“Focus on the mission; stay together; 

keep moving forward,in the Name of Christ.”  

(Bishop Barry Beisner)




March 22, 2014, 10:41 AM

March 21, 2014

The St. John's Herald

The voice of the Episcopal Church in Lake County

St. John's Church

(Episcopal)

1190 North Forbes Street, Lakeport, California 95453

 

You can reach Fr. Leo at 349-6563 or e-mail frleo@yahoo.com

 

St. John’s Church vision statement:

We are a visible, welcoming family of Christ, 

resolved to deepen our relationship with God.

 

 

March 21, 2014

 

Dear Folks,

Spring is here! According to astronomical reckoning, it arrived at 9:57 am yesterday. I ask all of you to join me in giving thanks to God for being here to welcome this season of of hope and renewal. I never thought I’d be around for another Spring, but God thought otherwise!

For much of the Nation this seemingly relentless Winter past is still hanging on, but for us so fortunate to be in California it has been the warmest Winter on record, all be it coupled with the driest Winter on record. The trees and flowers are a month or more ahead of season, confirmed by the native Redbud tree in full bloom that I am looking out at here at the Hermitage.

With Spring comes renewal, not only in Nature, but in the human heart. I pray that each of you experience that rebirth as we reach the midpoint in our journey through Lent and the promise of Easter resurrection.   

Please keep me in your prayers and love as I continue to struggle, for as long as it is God’s Will, to serve you as your parish priest.      

    God love you,

Fr. Leo+

 

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Mrs. Dolores Beisner, who died peacefully on Sundayevening, March 16th. Mrs. Beisner was the mother of Bishop Barry Beisner.  The Rt. Rev. Barry Beisner is Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California. Your prayers are requested for the Beisner family and all who mourn.

Bishop Beisner thanks you all for your prayers throughout this time.   

    

Thank you, 

   Diocesan Communications 

 

 Notice of March Vestry Meeting Change

The Vestry Meeting for March will be held tomorrowSaturday, March 22nd at 2 pmfollowing the Vestry Retreat at Little Portion Hermitage. The meeting will be followed by a simple celebration of Holy Eucharist in the Oratory at Little Portion. Vestry Meetings are considered open to all members of the parish, though only Vestry Members have voice and vote at the meetings. Our monthly Vestry Meetings are regularly scheduled on the third Sunday of each month in the Collier Room after the Sunday Service. 

Please pray for your new Vestry as they begin a new term.   

  

Music for the Third Sunday in Lent

Prelude: O Sacred Head  J. Pachelbel, Germany 1600's

Offertory: Glory Be To Jesus N.W. Powell, Valparaiso 1900's

Postlude: My Heart is Yearning  J. Brahms, Austria 1800's

Mel Taylor, Parish Organist

 

 

March Birthdays

Happy Birthday to: Teri Garrett (3/8), Jean Rigod (3/8), Anthony Farrington (3/10), and LoraHudson (3/14).

 

On March 22nd, Fr. Leo celebrates the 17th anniversary of his ordination/reception as an Episcopal priest.

 

2014 CONGREGATIONAL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

March 8, 2014 at Trinity Church, Sonoma

Risk Management/Disaster Preparedness Workshop

     The workshop provided attendees basic information about

property and casualty insurance coverage through Church

Insurance. This presented questions about the importance of

disaster preparedness planning, including an overview of the

planning process.

     Risk Management covered options for renting property,

offering new ministries and working with local programs and what options may mean for church coverage.

     Disaster preparedness covered tips on how to make a plan

specific to our buildings, congregation and community.

     Church disaster planning has three goals:

      + Training and resources to members and their families.

      + Recovery and continuity for church operations.

      + Resources and services to the local community.

     The most important part of the plan is to recruit, organize

and train congregation volunteers to be members of an emergency response team. A team leader should be designated.

     An inventory of what's in the church buildings is needed, documented by photographs.

     There is a blanket Diocese insurance totaling $127,691,000,

of which $5 million is available to each parish.

Respectfully submitted by Lyle W. La Faver, Junior Warden.

 

Presiding Bishop Joins Letters Promoting 

Two State Framework in the Middle East    

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has in recent weeks signed on to two letters to Secretary of State John Kerry that seek to support the current negotiations toward a framework for a two-state solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

The first letter, dated February 28, comes from the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle 

East (NILI), an organization that includes present and past heads of twenty-five Jewish, Christian, and Muslim national religious organizations. 

The signers write:

"We agree with you that public support by leaders and members of our three religious communities, both here and on the ground in the region, will be essential to encourage success in negotiating a final peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. ….

We believe the coming months are critical to achieving a negotiated two-state peace agreement, the only realistic resolution of the conflict. While we know that some in our communities will oppose any compromises, as leaders of NILI we support benchmark principles and practical ideas developed in earlier official and informal negotiations that provide possible elements for necessary compromises on key issues that could be acceptable to majorities of Israelis and Palestinians.

The second letter, released today, marks the first time that " Catholic, Coptic, Lutheran and Episcopal heads of churches in Jerusalem and the Franciscan Custodian of the Holy Places are joining with U.S. Christian denominations and groups to support urgent efforts to reach a comprehensive agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," according to Churches for Middle East Peace.

The letter says:

Lack of a resolution will have negative consequences for both Israelis and Palestinians and exacerbate other grave problems in the region. Failure would have detrimental consequences for the entire international community, including the United States, as well as exacerbate ongoing humanitarian concerns. We hope that the framework will be based on principles of international law.

The preservation and welfare of the Christian communities affected by this conflict are important to us. A comprehensive agreement should greatly strengthen opportunities for them to flourish. Moreover, the support and inclusion of all three Abrahamic faiths is critical as they will have an important role to play in promoting the peace process.

The Palestine Israel Network of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship often presents a contrasting viewpoint from that offered by the Presiding Bishop and the churchwide staff. Last January it "hosted" an open letter to the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church that was signed by a number of prominent church leaders. It asked in part that the council "immediately move forward with our Church’s corporate engagement policy so that our financial resources are not being used to support the infrastructure of this suffocating occupation." 

Posted by Jim Naughton on March 21, Episcopal Cafe 

 

Our Lenten Book Study

Prompted by a review I ran in The Herald a few months ago, Susanne LaFaver, our new Senior Warden, has selected Band of Angels as our Lenten book study. From the sample I’ve read, it seems like a good read by someone who has a grasp of history and a keen sense of humor. Susanne’s suggestion is that those who wish to participate meet each Sunday of Lent during the Hospitality Hour in the Collier Room for discussion on the previous week’s reading. That way we economize on our time and resources by not having to meet during the week. I suggest that we each take responsibility for purchasing our own copy of the book, either in Kindle or Hardcover format. This can be done online or (preferably) through a local book store. (If you are technologically challenged and  this is not possible, I will do the ordering for you.) Fr. Leo   

 

Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women by Kate Cooper (Author) 

Kindle $11.99  Hardcover $21.43

In this inspiring new history of the early Christian movement, award-winning historian Kate Cooper reveals a vivid picture of the triumphs and hardships of the first mothers of the infant church. As far as recorded history is concerned, women in the ancient world lived almost invisibly in a man's world. Piecing together their story from the few contemporary accounts that have survived requires painstaking detective work, but it can render both the past and the present in a new light. 

Following the lives of influential women across the first centuries of the church, Band of Angels tells the remarkable story of how a new way of understanding relationships took root in the ancient world. As Cooper demonstrates, women from all walks of life played an invaluable role in Christianity's growth to become a world religion. Peasants, empresses, and independent businesswomen contributed what they could to an emotional revolution unlike anything the ancient world had ever seen. By sharing the ideas that had inspired them, ancient women changed their own lives. But they did something more. Their story is a testament to what invisible people can achieve, and to how the power of ideas can change the world, one household at a time.

 

Who are We?  Whence, Whither, and Why?

Part III

On February 27, 2014 Episcopal Presiding Bishop Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Westminster College’s second annual C.S. Lewis Legacy Lecturer, treated the Westminster community to a profound and insightful discourse on the convergence of science and spirituality.  Entitled, “Who are We, Whence, Whither, and Why?”, Schori’s address took the audience on a deep and reflective journey through scientific theory and spiritual meaning of existence.

(Since the entire lecture is too lengthy to print in one edition of The Herald and too valuable to shorten, I chose to print it in 5 installments as spiritual and intellectual “food” for our Lenten Journey. 

I pray that you will find in it “refreshment” for your mind and spirit as we grapple with these big questions of “Who are We, Whence, Whither, and Why?” in this Lenten Season of reflection. 

I have to own, up front, that our brilliant Presiding Bishop is not an easy read for me, as may also be the case for some of you. Nevertheless, I found it well worth the effort to take this in small bites so as to savor every nuance of her capacity first as a scientist and also as a contemporary theologian. There is indeed a lot to chew on here. Fr. Leo)    

 

Westminster College

27 Feb 2014

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church

 

Identity

We’ve noted three ways of thinking about origins.  What does this say about identity – who we are and what we see around us?  The cosmological-evolutionary story says we are made of stardust, and so is everything else around us.  Notably, everything we can detect is made from the same primordial plasma soup.  We human beings share a common origin with every other particle of matter or antimatter imaginable, if we’re willing to look far enough into the past.  The evolutionary story on earth gives a similar response – we’re all products of the same stuff, even if some of it may have arrived as part of meteorites, comets, or other stellar projectiles after the initial coalescence of this planet.  If we want a purely biological response, the theory gives the same answer – even if life emerged more than once on this earth, we seem to have the same roots.  Human beings also seem to share common roots in species that evolved on the African continent.  Everybody is an African in origin, and most people in this room are African-Americans.  Every human being living today shares a common ancestry – we’re all related to one another, and we are all related to every other creature on earth, and every part of the universe.

Beyond our identity as Homo sapiens, what does it mean to be a human being?  Science asks these questions, too.

(http://humanorigins.si.edu/  We are self-reflective, we have the ability to think and think about our thinking, and we can make conscious choices, at least when we’re functioning rationally.  It’s apparent that a number of other creatures share some of those characteristics – many other animals learn and change their behavior, and communicate with some form of language:  apes can learn sign language, dolphins, whales, and birds use a variety of sounds and songs.  Elephants, wolves, and apes give evidence of grief.  Several species use tools, some mate for life, many live in family groups of mutual and altruistic support.  Some other species evidently think beyond the local – birds, fish, and mammals migrate across vast distances, directed by neurological and/or genetic memory.  Some have the ability to recognize individuals after a lapse of many years.

What makes human beings unique?  Creativity – thinking new thoughts, putting together ideas and concepts that come from different realms, like the humor of word-play.  Even young children do this:  Why did the duck cross the road?  She didn’t want to be a chicken.

Much of what distinguishes human from other species has to do with the symbolic nature of our language and communication, and the ways we play with those symbols, even to the extent of calling us Homo ludens, the one who laughs or plays.  Our reflective capacity means we can project into the future as well as consider the past; we can reflect on our own reflection and learn from it; we can dream up things that haven’t been thought or seen before; and we can think beyond what we see.  Cogito, ergo sum said Descartes.  We now know that other species think abstractly, though probably not in the same degree that human beings do.  Homo poetica Ernst Becker called us, the one who seeks meaning.  While we may find innate beauty in other species – the mating dances of birds, butterfly wings, or jeweled tree frogs – we do not see evidence that their own creation of beauty (by themselves) is an end in itself.(Although theologically it is certainly possible to say that this is how each one gives glory to God, and that is what we perceive is beauty.)   Multicolored coral reef fishes have evolved their vibrant hues as warning to predators or lures to mates – and they exhibit little variation from individual to individual – their creative output is recursive, as minor variation on a genetic theme.  Human beings pursue artistic ends when their basic needs are met, as a way of finding internal meaning and expressing it outwardly – which is what theologians describe as sacramental – an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.

The beauty we see around us is a function of our ability to discern it.  This has been framed by some as the “anthropic principle” – the universe is observable only when there is a form of life capable of observing it.   In some forms, that principle imputes a strong force moving toward the creation of reflective, conscious life.  Other forms of the principle note that only a universe which is capable of being observed can produce reflective life forms.  We do live in a system which seems exquisitely finely tuned toward that end.  The meaning we draw from that is not susceptible to a scientific answer.

Back to beauty, or in a larger sense, awe, and our ability to recognize or appreciate it.  Some of that capacity seems to be intrinsic and some is deeply cultural – taught and learned in community.  The experience of awe seems to be uniquely human, drawing us beyond ourselves to consider larger reality, and it is deeply connected to what makes human beings human.

The two creation stories of the biblical tradition understand humanity as the product of creative engagement with the basic stuff of existence.  The first creation story images humanity as a reflection of that creative force which has produced all that is.  That story sets up human beings – in their diversity – as those charged to care for all the creatures of the earth as part of their own household.  The language used is to “have dominion over,” and rather than domination, it suggests the domus or house in which all the creatures live, and human beings as housekeepers and husbanders of the whole, whatever their gender.

The language of the second story, then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.(Genesis 2:7)  uses adham, literally an “earth creature.”  The connection remains in English –human comes from the same root as humus.  This is yet another echo of the understanding that we come from the same dust as the stars, even if we think it’s really special dust!  This story of origins goes on to explicate an understanding of evil as individual or communal choice that denies that kind of interconnectedness with the ground of all being.  Original sin is not about sex – it’s about selfishness, and a lack of humility, also from the same root.

This understanding of interconnectedness is present in many other creation stories.  Indigenous spiritual traditions often point to a fundamental identity that lies in relationship, rather than individual existence, and that the deeper meaning of human life is found in relationship with other human beings and with all that is.  It’s important to point out that the impetus and ability to seek meaning through a symbolic story is evidence of what we’ve talked about as distinguishing human beings from other creatures.  This is Homo poetica at work.

Part Four will continue next week.

 

ALTAR GUILD

The Altar Guild is looking for new members, if this is a ministry you would like to be a part of or if you would like more information please contact Barbara Knight, or another Altar Guild member.

                                                                                                                                    From Lesser Feasts and Fasts...

March 22 - James De Koven, Priest, 1879

James De Koven was born in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1831, ordained by Bishop Kemper in 1855, and appointed professor of ecclesiastical history at Nashotah House. In addition, he administered a preparatory school, and assisted at the Church of St. John Chrysostom in Delafield, Wisconsin.

Nashotah House was associated, from the time of its foundation, with many of the principles of the Oxford Movement, above all in its emphasis on the sacramental life of the Church and the expression of devotion to the Eucharist—including such practices as bowing to the Altar, at the name of Jesus, and before receiving Communion. In 1859, De Koven became Warden of the Church college at Racine, Wisconsin, where he emphasized the life of worship. He died there in 1879.

De Koven came to national attention at the General Conventions of 1871 and 1874, when the controversy over “ritualism” was at its height. In 1871, he asserted that the use of candles on the Altar, incense, and genuflections were lawful, because they symbolized “the real, spiritual presence of Christ” which the Episcopal Church upheld, along with the Orthodox and the Lutherans. He cited a recent decision of an ecclesiastical court of the Church of England, which affirmed as the teaching of the Church of England that “the spiritual presence of the Body and Blood of our Lord in the Holy Communion is objective and real.”

Because of his advocacy of the “ritualist” cause, consents were not given to his consecration as Bishop of Wisconsin in 1874, and of Illinois in 1875.

To the General Convention of 1874, De Koven expressed the religious conviction that underlay his Churchmanship: “You may take away from us, if you will, every external ceremony; you may take away altars, and super-altars, lights and incense and vestments; . . . and we will submit to you. But, gentlemen . . . to adore Christ’s Person in his Sacrament—that is the inalienable privilege of every Christian and Catholic heart. How we do it, the way we do it, the ceremonies with which we do it, are utterly, utterly, indifferent. The thing itself is what we plead for.”

Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, the source and perfection of all virtues, who didst inspire thy servant James De Koven to do what is right and to preach what is true: Grant that all ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may afford to thy faithful people, by word and example, the knowledge of thy grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

March 23 - Gregory the Illuminator, 

Bishop and Missionary of Armenia, c. 332

Armenia was the first nation-state to become officially Christian, and this set a precedent for the adoption of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine. As a buffer state between the more powerful empires of Rome and Persia, Armenia endured many shifts of policy, as first one and then the other empire took it “under protection.”

The accounts of Gregory, known as the Illuminator and as Apostle of the Armenians, are a mixture of legend and fact. He was born about 257. After his father assassinated the Persian King Chosroes the First, the infant boy was rescued and taken to Caesarea in Cappadocia, where he was brought up as a Christian. He married a woman named Mary, who bore him two sons. About 280, he returned to Armenia, and succeeded, after experiencing various fortunes of honor and imprisonment, in converting King Tiridates to his faith. With the help of the King the country was Christianized, and paganism was rooted out. About 300, Gregory was ordained a bishop at Caesarea. He established his cathedral at Valarshapat, with his center of work nearby at Echmiadzin, now in Armenia, and still the spiritual center of Armenian Christianity.

There is no record that Gregory attended the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325, but a tradition records that he sent in his stead his younger son Aristages, whom he ordained as his successor. His last years were spent in solitude, and he died about 332.

Let us pray. Almighty God, whose will it is to be glorified in your saints, and who raised up your servant Gregory the Illuminator to be a light in the world, and to preach the Gospel to the people of Armenia: Shine, we pray, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may show forth your praise, who called us out of darkness into your marvelous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

March 24 - Óscar Romero, 

Archbishop of San Salvador, 1980, 

and the Martyrs of El Salvador

Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdémez was born on August 15, 1917 in San Salvador. At the age of twelve, he was apprenticed to a carpenter, but was later able to attend seminary. His family’s economic circumstances forced him to withdraw to work in a gold mine. Ultimately he entered another seminary and was eventually sent to the Gregorian University in Rome to study theology. After his ordination to the priesthood, he returned to his native land, where he worked among the poor, served as an administrator for the Church, and started an Alcoholics Anonymous group in San Miguel.

When he was appointed a bishop, radicals distrusted his conservative sympathies. However, after his appointment as Archbishop of San Salvador in 1977, a progressive Jesuit friend of his, Rutilio Grande, was assassinated, and Romero began protesting the government’s injustice to the poor and its policies of torture. He met with Pope John Paul II in 1980 and complained that the leaders of El Salvador engaged in terror and assassinations. He also pleaded with the American government to stop military aid to his country, but this request was ignored.

Romero was shot to death while celebrating Mass at a small chapel near his cathedral on March 24, 1980. The previous day, he preached a sermon calling on soldiers to disobey orders that violated human rights. He had said, “A bishop will die, but the Church of God which is the people will never perish.” The Roman Catholic Church declared him “a servant of God,” and he is honored as a martyr by many Christian denominations worldwide.

Almost nine months after Romero’s assassination, four Maryknoll nuns were also killed in the course of their duties by the El Salvadoran army. Nine Jesuit priests were similarly murdered in November of 1989. A statue of Romero stands at the door of Westminster Abbey as part of a commemoration of twentieth-century martyrs.

Let us pray. Almighty God, you called your servant Oscar Romero to be a voice for the voiceless poor, and to give his life as a seed of freedom and a sign of hope: Grant that, inspired by his sacrifice and the example of the martyrs of El Salvador, we may without fear or favor witness to your Word who abides, your Word who is Life, even Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be praise and glory now and for ever. Amen.

 

March 25 - The Annunciation of Our Lord

Today’s feast commemorates how God made known to a young Jewish woman that she was to be the mother of his Son, and how Mary accepted her vocation with perfect conformity of will. It has been said, “God made us without us, and redeemed us without us, but cannot save us without us.” Mary’s assent to Gabriel’s message opened the way for God to accomplish the salvation of the world. It is for this reason that all generations are to call her “blessed.”

The Annunciation has been a major theme in Christian art, in both East and West. Innumerable sermons and poems have been composed about it. The term coined by Cyril of Alexandria for the Blessed Virgin, Theotokos (“the God-bearer”), was affirmed by the General Council of Ephesus in 431.

Mary’s self-offering in response to God’s call has been compared to that of Abraham, the father of believers. Just as Abraham was called to be the father of the chosen people, and accepted his call, so Mary was called to be the mother of the faithful, the new Israel. She is God’s human agent in the mystery of the Incarnation. Her response to the angel, “Let it be to me according to your word,” is identical with the faith expressed in the prayer that Jesus taught, “Your will be done on earth as in heaven.”

Gerard Manley Hopkins, comparing Mary to the air we breathe, writes:

Wild air, world-mothering air . . . Of her flesh he took flesh: He does take fresh and fresh, Though much the mystery how, Not flesh but spirit now, And makes, O marvellous! New Nazareths in us, Where she shall yet conceive Him, morning, noon, and eve, New Bethlems, and he born There, evening, noon, and morn—

Let us pray. We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts, that we who have known the incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary, may by his cross and passion be brought unto the glory of his resurrection; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

March 27 - Charles Henry Brent, Bishop of the Philippines, and of Western New York, 1929

Charles Henry Brent was born in Canada in 1862 and was educated at Trinity College, University of Toronto. Ordained in Canada, he came to the United States where, in 1901, he was elected by the House of Bishops as Missionary Bishop of the Philippines. In the Philippines, he began a crusade against the opium traffic, a campaign he later expanded to the continent of Asia. He became President of the Opium Conference in Shanghai in 1909, and represented the United States on the League of Nations Narcotics Committee. He also established cordial relations with the Philippine Independent Church, which led, ultimately, to intercommunion with that Church.

Bishop Brent served as Senior Chaplain of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, and in 1918 he accepted election as Bishop of Western New York, having declined three previous elections in order to remain at his post in the Philippines.

Brent was the outstanding figure of the Episcopal Church on the world scene for two decades. The central focus of his life and ministry was the cause of Christian unity. After attending the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh in 1910, he led the Episcopal Church in the movement that culminated in the first World Conference on Faith and Order, which was held in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1927, and over which he presided. He died in 1929.

James Thayer Addison, the historian, described Brent as “a saint of disciplined mental vigor, one whom soldiers were proud to salute and whom children were happy to play with, who could dominate a parliament and minister to an invalid, a priest and bishop who gloried in the heritage of his Church, yet who stood among all Christian brothers as one who served. . . . He was everywhere an ambassador of Christ.”

Brent was also a man of prayer. One of his prayers for the mission of the Church has been included in the Book of Common Prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us with your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name.”

Let us pray. Heavenly Father, whose Son prayed that we all might be one: Deliver us from arrogance and prejudice, and give us wisdom and forbearance, that, following your servant Charles Henry Brent, we may be united in one family with all who confess the Name of your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

Please pray for...

  For our Church and Clergy: ‡Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury; ‡Katharine, Presiding Bishop; +Barry, our Bishop; Fr. Leo+, our Parish Priest; Bryan, our Deacon; the clergy & people of the Diocese of Northern California; and Christians in the Holy Land and Middle East.

For all in need, especially: Fr. Leo+, Deacon Bryan, Rev. Blake+ Leighton, AnneBarquist, June Salter, Ava Jade Steilen, Ruth Eason, Doug Norton, Ron & Eileen Martin,Deena Childers, Norah & Jerry Collins, Michael Clore, Mickey Fahnestock, Jane Duffty, JimWilson, Dr. Marie Crail, Clementine Hall, SuzetteTyler Duncan, Cathy Rooker, ElendaDuryea, Carol Brabrook, Chrystina Harris, Ted Davies, Dave Cowles, Sidney Taylor and EilaLintuneh.

(To add someone to the prayer list, please call Leila at 263-4565 or e-mailLdh1218@sbcglobal.net.)

  

Announcements

 

If you would like to host the Hospitality Hour after Sunday Service please sign the  Hospitality Hour Schedule in Carey Hall.

Please bring offerings of nonperishable foods for the Food Pantry. As we continue our outreach to the needy in our community, your donations are always appreciated and needed to sustain this vital service.  Also, your monetary donations are always appreciated and needed to sustain this vital service. Your dollar buys much more food when we purchase in bulk. 

 Thank you.

Opportunity to serve St. John’s: If you’re friendly and frequent thrift stores, perhaps you’re just the person to volunteer in the thrift Shop.  Volunteers are needed, especially to help sort the overstock.   Even an hour or two would be appreciated. If you’re interested, leave a message for Ginger Ingersol, thrift shop manager, at (707) 245-3147.  The shop is openTuesdayWednesday and Thursday 10 to 4 in the Church basement. 

Until further notice, the Thrift Store is not accepting donations. Volunteers are needed, especially to help sort the overstock; even an hour or two helps.  Please speak to Ginny Ingersoll or Deborah Smith if you can help.

The Food Pantry needs nonperishable foods.                                                                                                                                                               

You can reach Fr. Leo at 349-6563 or e-mail frleo@yahoo.com

 

“Focus on the mission; stay together; 

keep moving forward,in the Name of Christ.”  

(Bishop Barry Beisner)




March 14, 2014, 8:40 PM

March 14, 2014

The St. John's Herald

The voice of the Episcopal Church in Lake County

St. John's Church

(Episcopal)

1190 North Forbes Street, Lakeport, California 95453

 

You can reach Fr. Leo at 349-6563 or e-mail frleo@yahoo.com

 

St. John’s Church vision statement:

We are a visible, welcoming family of Christ, 

resolved to deepen our relationship with God.

 

 

March 14, 2014

 

Dear Folks,

The other day our Senior Warden, Susanne LaFaver, called me to discuss reviving the Healling Service once a month as part of our Sunday Eucharist or Morning Prayer. I responded an entusiastic “Yes!”  She sent me a form of the service that had been used, which was the form of Service authorized by The Episcopal Church. I did some research and gave some thought, and prayer, about how we could best impliment this as soon as possible.

What we propose is that on the First Sunday (easy to remember) of each month we conduct the Service of Healing led by one of our lay ministers after our regular worship. The service would include the laying on of hands and anointing for all who wish to come forward to receive this special blessing for the wellbeing of both body, mind, and spirit. 

I have been reflecting on the great strain on our wellbeing we are experiencing all around us lately. Looking around the parish and the wider community of my aquaintences, this has been a very rough Winter with prolonged illness. This seems to be mirrored in the “dis-ease” in the world around us. And, of course, I am coping with my day to day existence having one foot in the grave. Throughout history people of faith have turned to God in trusting confidence of God’s relentless love and desire for our health and salvation. I invite you join us on the First Sunday of each month to pray for healing of ourselves, our community, and for our broken world.     

 

Please keep me in your prayers and love as I continue to struggle, for as long as it is God’s Will, to serve you as your parish priest.      

    God love you,

Fr. Leo+

 

Notice of MarchVestry Meeting Change

The Vestry Meeting for March will be held on Saturday, March 22nd at 2 pm following the Vestry Retreat at Little Portion Hermitage. The meeting will be folowed by a simple celebration of Holy Eucharist in the Oratory at Little Portion. Vestry Meetings are considered open to all members of the parish, though only Vestry Members have voice and vote at the meetings. Our monthly Vestry Meetings are regularly scheduled on the third Sunday of each month in the Collier Room after the Sunday Service. 

Please pray for your Vestry as they begin a new term.   

  

Music for the Second Sunday in Lent

Prelude: O Dearest Jesus  J.C. Oley, Germany 1700's

Offertory:  Dorian Voluntary G. Frescobaldi, Rome 1600's

Postlude:  Ah, Jesus Dear  J. Brahms, Austria 1800's

Mel Taylor, Parish Organist

 

March Birthdays

Happy Birthday to: Teri Garrett (3/8), Jean Rigod (3/8), Anthony Farrington (3/10), and LoraHudson (3/14).

 

On March 22ndFr. Leo celebrates the 17th anniversary of his ordination/reception as an Episcopal priest.

 

New Vestry Members Attend Congregational Leadership Conference 

Five newly elected vestry members traveled to Trinity Church in Sonoma for a day-long congregational leadership conference Saturday, March 8. It was an outstanding program and well worth our efforts.

Throughout our vestry ministry, we will be building on lessons learned at this conference to benefit St. John’s and its parishioners.

Nancy Carter attended two introductory workshops with Bishop Barry Beisner, 1) ministry of the vestry/mission committee and 2) canon and additional information for vestry/mission committee members.

Alethea Eason and Susanne La Faver participated in a workshop on developing a year-round stewardship plan for your congregation.

Alethea also participated with Lyle La Faver and Nancy Williams in the risk management/disaster preparedness workshop.

Susanne’s second workshop was on financial best practices and the treasurer’s monthly report.

The leadership conference was provided free by our Northern California Episcopal Diocese (http://www.norcalepiscopal.org/ .

Submitted by Senior Warden Susanne La Faver

 

7 Point Prayer Practice:

The goal of the prayer practice is to stimulate a regular and meaningful conversation with God.  It's easy to fall into the trap of merely thinking about these things.  When you find yourself doing that, return to actually speaking with God about whatever it is you are thinking.  The goal is to develop the ability to have intimate conversations with God during this time set aside for prayer.  Even if you don't have time (or don't think you have time) set aside One Minute and still go through each of the seven steps but just speak with God about one thing in each step.

1.  Gratitude:  Begin by thanking God in a personal dialogue

     for whatever you are most grateful for today.

2.  Awareness: Revisit the times in the past twenty-four hours when you were and were not the best-version-of-yourself.  Talk with God about these situations and what you have learned from them. 

3.  Significant Moments:  Identify something you experienced today and explore what God might be trying to say to you through that event or person.

4.  Peace:  Ask God to forgive you for any wrong you have committed (against yourself, another person or God) & to fill you with deep, abiding peace.

5.  Freedom:  Speak with God about how God is inviting you to change you life, so that you can experience the freedom to be the best-version-of-yourself.

6.  Others:  Lift up to God anyone you feel called to pray for today, asking God to bless and guide them.

7.  Finish by praying the Lord's Prayer.  (original version from Aramaic below)

 

The Prayer To Our Father 

(translated into first century Aramaic)

Abwûn

"Oh Thou, from whom the breath of life comes,

d'bwaschmâja

who fills all realms of sound, light and vibration.

Nethkâdasch schmach

May Your light be experienced in my utmost holiest.

Têtê malkuthach.

Your Heavenly Domain approaches.

Nehwê tzevjânach aikâna d'bwaschmâja af b'arha.

Let Your will come true - in the universe (all that vibrates)

just as on earth (that is material and dense).

Hawvlân lachma d'sûnkanân jaomâna.

Give us wisdom (understanding, assistance) for our daily need,

Waschboklân chaubên wachtahên aikâna

daf chnân schwoken l'chaijabên.

detach the fetters of faults that bind us, (karma)

like we let go the guilt of others.

Wela tachlân l'nesjuna

Let us not be lost in superficial things (materialism, common temptations),

ela patzân min bischa.

but let us be freed from that what keeps us off from our true purpose.

Metol dilachie malkutha wahaila wateschbuchta l'ahlâm almîn.

From You comes the all-working will, the lively strength to act,

the song that beautifies all and renews itself from age to age.

Amên.

Sealed in trust, faith and truth.

(I confirm with my entire being)

This piece, sent by my friend is from a book by Matthew Kelly called The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic.

Submitted by Leila Haddad 

 

A Lenten Reflection...

An expanded understanding of stewardship, beyond annual giving, is the focus of my personal Lenten journey this year. I’ve heard Fr. Leo talk about responsible stewardship of the environment, St. John’s Church assets, of each other, etc. This Lent I’m prayerful about stewardship to my body and the nutrients I take in.

I’ve gained a lot of weight since I moved to Lake County 13 years ago. We all have our stories. Mine includes simultaneous life changes: turning 50, getting married, retiring, and leaving a pedestrian lifestyle to move to the country.

I tried to stay active, but it was more fun cuddling with my new hubby on the couch and going out to eat. So I joined a new fitness center near my Hidden Valley Lake. It was encouraging to lose 7 ? inches in nine months. But the fitness instructor reminded me that weight loss is 70% nutrition.

Then I met a woman in my exercise class who looked the way I wanted to look. She shared that she attended meeting of Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA), had a sponsor, and religiously followed FA’s meal plan. I attended their next meeting. (For Lake County meetings see www.foodaddicts.org .)

I’m now being “religious” about FA, too. I’m prayfully and humbly asking God to guide me as I embrace this new stewardship to my body. I read and meditate to bring new discipline into my eating, no sugar, flour or alcohol. I call my sponsor and others for support.

What do I eat now? Lots of good stuff, all designed to eliminate cravings and burn fat, measured and weighed non-fat plain yogurt, flaxseed meal, fresh fruit and salad, fish, chicken, ham, brown rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, steamed vegetables, olive oil with balsamic vinegar, and water, water, water!

This renewed discipline and commitment to stewardship makes me feel strong and clear headed. It’s a perfect Lenten focus for me. I intend to continue with FA after Easter, as my Baptismal covenant says, “with God’s help.”

And yes, Fr. Leo, I too can now “smell the lettuce.”

Susane LaFaver

 

Our Lenten Book Study

Prompted by a review I ran in The Herald a few months ago, Susanne LaFaver, our new Senior Warden, has selected Band of Angels as our Lenten book study. From the sample I’ve read, it seems like a good read by someone who has a grasp of history and a keen sense of humor. Susanne’s suggestion is that those who wish to participate meet each Sunday of Lent during the Hospitality Hour in the Collier Room for discussion on the previous week’s reading. That way we economize on our time and resources by not having to meet during the week. I suggest that we each take responsibility for purchasing our own copy of the book, either in Kindle or Hardcover format. This can be done online or (preferably) through a local book store. (If you are technologically challenged and  this is not possible, I will do the ordering for you.) Fr. Leo   

 

Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women by Kate Cooper (Author) 

Kindle $11.99  Hardcover $21.43

In this inspiring new history of the early Christian movement, award-winning historian Kate Cooper reveals a vivid picture of the triumphs and hardships of the first mothers of the infant church. As far as recorded history is concerned, women in the ancient world lived almost invisibly in a man's world. Piecing together their story from the few contemporary accounts that have survived requires painstaking detective work, but it can render both the past and the present in a new light. 

Following the lives of influential women across the first centuries of the church, Band of Angels tells the remarkable story of how a new way of understanding relationships took root in the ancient world. As Cooper demonstrates, women from all walks of life played an invaluable role in Christianity's growth to become a world religion. Peasants, empresses, and independent businesswomen contributed what they could to an emotional revolution unlike anything the ancient world had ever seen. By sharing the ideas that had inspired them, ancient women changed their own lives. But they did something more. Their story is a testament to what invisible people can achieve, and to how the power of ideas can change the world, one household at a time.

 

Who are We?  Whence, Whither, and Why?

Part II

On February 27, 2014 Episcopal Presiding Bishop Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Westminster College’s second annual C.S. Lewis Legacy Lecturer, treated the Westminster community to a profound and insightful discourse on the convergence of science and spirituality.  Entitled, “Who are We, Whence, Whither, and Why?”, Schori’s address took the audience on a deep and reflective journey through scientific theory and spiritual meaning of existence.

(Since the entire lecture is too lengthy to print in one edition of The Herald and too valuable to shorten, I chose to print it in 5 installments as spiritual and intellectual “food” for our Lenten Journey. 

I pray that you will find in it “refreshment” for your mind and spirit as we grapple with these big questions of “Who are We, Whence, Whither, and Why?” in this Lenten Season of reflection. 

I have to own, up front, that our brilliant Presiding Bishop is not an easy read for me, as may also be the case for some of you. Nevertheless, I found it well worth the effort to take this in small bites so as to savor every nuance of her capacity first as a scientist and also as a contemporary theologian. There is indeed a lot to chew on here. Fr. Leo)    

 

Westminster College

27 Feb 2014

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

Presiding Bishop and Primate

The Episcopal Church

 

Origin

A story of origins is the technical meaning of “myth.”  This college has a myth about those columns out there – you tell a story of meaning about their origin and purpose, and every student becomes part of that story by passing through them when you matriculate and again in the other direction as you graduate.  Note that the technical use of this term does not imply that a myth is untrue.  I have a friend who is fond of saying, “I know this story is true, whether or not it happened exactly that way.”  The significance of the myth is how it shapes the hearer and the wider community, and how its truth becomes part of the hearers’ story.  A myth is both constitutive and constructive of meaning, for individuals and communities.

Until fairly recently, most of the western world has lived with a broad religious myth, and in recent centuries, a scientific story about origins.  The broad biblical myth actually has two primary stories of creation, which say somewhat different things about the meaning and mode of creation.  The first one speaks of God creating what is over a period of six days and resting on the seventh.  At the beginning there is nothing – a formless void.  A wind sweeps over that chaos, God speaks, and light is separated from the darkness.  That’s day one.  Day two brings the sky, day three the ocean and dry land with its plants.  Day four sees sun and moon and stars.  Day five results in animals, fish, birds and the charge to be fruitful and multiply.  Day six produces human beings in the image of God who are also told to be fruitful and to have dominion over the creatures of the earth.  Then God takes a day off, and pronounces a holiday.(The shape of that creative week dignifies and sacralizes both work and rest.)

The second creation story tells a very different story that’s focused on the origin of human beings.  What is often heard as the name Adam is actually a generic word for “earth creature” (adham) and the first one is asked to name all the creatures and seek a partner among them.  A suitable partner isn’t found, so God takes part of the earth creature to make another one.  It isn’t until there are two of them that they gain gender.  Then follows the story about the snake and eating the forbidden fruit, and the result that the two now know the difference between good and evil.  They must now leave that lovely garden, and its dream-time, and enter real human life, with its accompanying toil, pain, and death.

The scientific creation story we live with begins in a singularity, before which the tools of science cannot look, although there is some vigorous and creative theorizing going on. (In some cases that theorizing does not require a singularity.)   We call this beginning the Big Bang, some 13.8 billion years ago.  The story moves from this almost unimaginably hot and dense beginning to the coalescence of subatomic particles within a few minutes, and after several hundred thousand years the condensation of stable atoms – mostly hydrogen and helium, with a little lithium.  Clouds of these gases condensed into the first galaxies and stars, and as their internal fusion proceeded, eventually those stars died and exploded, and other, denser ones were born that lasted long enough to produce heavier atoms.  Planets eventually formed from the ejecta of some of those dying stars.

This is what we call the cosmological theory – and we have to note that, like the word myth, the technical meaning is different from the popular meaning.  Theory to scientists means the best explanation we have for a phenomenon – it best fits the evidence, and it’s robust enough that proving it false would take a major discovery.  Theories are often in the process of being refined, but they are seldom thrown out.

The cosmological theory continues in our more local part of the universe, as a gas cloud began to consolidate into a solar nebula about 4.5 billion years ago.  Within 10 or 20 million years, the sun and a series of planets had consolidated.  The earth’s broadly layered structure and internal magnetic field developed fairly quickly (~10 million years), and around 4 billion years ago a large celestial impact blasted part of the earth into orbit as the moon.  Volcanism, the result of the earth’s hot core, produced a shifting surface (plate tectonics), and an atmosphere of evolving composition.  Life began to evolve on this planet very early – between 3.5 and 4 billion years ago.  The evolutionary part of the cosmological story is more familiar – and it continues, through at least five eras of mass extinction and periods of rapid species expansion, as a result of changing environmental pressures.  In the geologic era, those pressures have included meteor impacts, mass volcanism, and atmospheric changes, as well as selective pressure due to predation.

Those are very brief summaries of the stories of origin familiar to this culture.  There are other religious ones, but the scientific one stands alone as an externally verifiable response to the physical reality we experience.  Religious stories of origin deal with meaning in ways that move beyond what the scientific one is capable of, particularly when it comes to value beyond the instrumental and utilitarian.  We will return to this issue of transcendence after considering issues of identity and purpose. 

Part Three will contine next week.

 

ALTAR GUILD

The Altar Guild is looking for new members, if this is a ministry you would like to be a part of or if you would like more information please contact Barbara Knight, or another Altar Guild member.

                                                                                                                                    From Lesser Feasts and Fasts...

March 17 - Patrick, Bishop and Missionary of Ireland, 461

Patrick was born into a Christian family somewhere on the northwest coast of Britain in about 390. His grandfather had been a Christian priest and his father, Calpornius, a deacon. Calpornius was an important official in the late Roman imperial government of Britain. It was not unusual in this post-Constantinian period for such state officials to be in holy orders. When Patrick was about sixteen, he was captured by a band of Irish slave-raiders. He was carried off to Ireland and forced to serve as a shepherd. When he was about twenty- one, he escaped and returned to Britain, where he was educated as a Christian. He tells us that he took holy orders as both presbyter and bishop, although no particular see is known as his at this time. A vision then called him to return to Ireland. This he did about the year 431.

Tradition holds that Patrick landed not far from the place of his earlier captivity, near what is now known as Downpatrick (a “down” or “dun” is a fortified hill, the stronghold of a local Irish king). He then began a remarkable process of missionary conversion throughout the country that continued until his death, probably in 461. He made his appeal to the local kings and through them to their tribes. Christianizing the old pagan religion as he went, Patrick erected Christian churches over sites already regarded as sacred, had crosses carved on old druidic pillars, and put sacred wells and springs under the protection of Christian saints.

Many legends of Patrick’s Irish missionary travels possess substrata of truth, especially those telling of his conversion of the three major Irish High Kings. At Armagh, he is said to have established his principal church. To this day, Armagh is regarded as the primatial see of all Ireland.

Two works are attributed to Patrick: an autobiographical Confession, in which he tells us, among other things, that he was criticized by his contemporaries for lack of learning, and a Letter to Coroticus, a British chieftain. The Lorica or St. Patrick’s Breastplate (“I bind unto myself today”) is probably not his, but it expresses his faith and zeal.

Let us pray. Almighty God, who in thy providence didst choose thy servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of thee: Grant us so to walk in that light that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

March 18 - Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, 386

Cyril is the one we have most to thank for the development of catechetical instruction and liturgical observances during Lent and Holy Week. Born in Jerusalem about 315, Cyril became bishop of that city probably in 349. In the course of political and ecclesiastical disputes, he was banished and restored three times. His Catechetical Lectures on the Christian faith, given before Easter to candidates for Baptism, were probably written by him sometime between 348 and 350.

The work consists of an introductory lecture, or Procatechesis, and eighteen Catecheses based upon the articles of the creed of the Church at Jerusalem, All these lectures (the earliest catechetical materials surviving today) may have been used many times over by Cyril and his successors, and considerably revised in the process. They were probably part of the pre-baptismal instruction that Egeria, a pilgrim nun from western Europe, witnessed at Jerusalem in the fourth century and described with great enthusiasm in the account of her pilgrimage. Many of the faithful would also attend these instructions.

Cyril’s five Mystagogical Catecheses on the Sacraments, intended for the newly baptized after Easter, are now thought to have been composed, or at least revised, by John, Cyril’s successor as Bishop of Jerusalem from 386 to 417.

It is likely that it was Cyril who instituted the observances of Palm Sunday and Holy Week during the latter years of his episcopate in Jerusalem. In doing so, he was taking practical steps to organize devotions for countless pilgrims and local inhabitants around the sacred sites. In time, as pilgrims returned to their homes from Palestine, these services were to influence the development of Holy Week observances throughout the entire Church. Cyril attended the Second Ecumenical Council at Constantinople, in 381, and died at Jerusalem on March 18, 386.

Cyril’s thought has greatly enriched the observance of Holy Week in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer.

Let us pray. Strengthen, O Lord, the bishops of your Church in their special calling to be teachers and ministers of the Sacraments, so that they, like your servant Cyril of Jerusalem, may effectively instruct your people in Christian faith and practice; and that we, taught by them, may enter more fully into the celebration of the Paschal mystery; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

March 19 - Saint Joseph

In the face of circumstances that distressed even a man of such tenderness and obedience to God as Joseph, he accepted the vocation of protecting Mary and being a father to Jesus. He is honored in Christian tradition for the nurturing care and protection he provided for the infant Jesus and his mother in taking them to Egypt to escape Herod’s slaughter of the innocents, and in rearing him as a faithful Jew at Nazareth. The Gospel according to Matthew pictures Joseph as a man of deep devotion, open to mystical experiences, and as a man of compassion, who accepted his God-given responsibility with gentleness and humility.

Joseph was a pious Jew, a descendant of David, and a carpenter by trade. As Joseph the Carpenter, he is considered the patron saint of the working man, one who not only worked with his hands, but taught his trade to Jesus. The little that is told of him is a testimony to the trust in God which values simple everyday duties, and gives an example of a loving husband and father.

Let us pray. O God, who from the family of thy servant David didst raise up Joseph to be the guardian of thy incarnate Son and the spouse of his virgin mother: Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to thy commands; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

ii O God, who from the family of your servant David raised up Joseph to be the guardian of your incarnate Son and the spouse of his virgin mother: Give us grace to imitate his uprightness of life and his obedience to your commands; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

March 20 - Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne, 687

Cuthbert was the most popular saint of the pre-Conquest Anglo- Saxon Church. He was born about 625.

The Venerable Bede, who wrote a life of Cuthbert, tells us that in his youth, while tending sheep one night and praying, “as was his wont,” he saw a stream of light break through the darkness, and in its midst, “a company of the heavenly host descended to the earth, and having received among them a spirit of surpassing brightness, returned without delay to their heavenly home.” Learning the next day that Aidan of Lindisfarne had died at that very time, Cuthbert “determined forthwith to enter a monastery.”

Trained in the austere traditions of Celtic monasticism, Cuthbert was Prior of Melrose Abbey from 651 to 664, and then of Lindisfarne for twelve years. Bede says that he was accustomed to make visitations even to remote villages to preach to simple folk who, “neglecting the sacrament of their creed, had recourse to idolatrous remedies; as if by charms or amulets, or any other mysteries of the magical art, they were able to avert a stroke inflicted upon them by the Lord. . . .” Bede says that Cuthbert “often remained a week, sometimes two or three, nay, even a whole month, without returning home; but dwelling among the mountains, taught the poor people, both by words of his preaching, and also by his own holy conduct.”

Archbishop Theodore recognized Cuthbert’s greatness of character and made him Bishop of Hexham in 684, but Cuthbert continued to make his see at Lindisfarne. He returned two years later to his hermitage on the neighboring island of Farne, where he died on March 20, 687.

Cuthbert accepted the decisions of the synod of Whitby in 663 that brought the usages of’ the English Church into line with Roman practice. He was thus a “healer of the breach” that threatened to divide the Church into Celtic and Roman factions.

At the time of the Viking invasions, the monks of Lindisfarne carefully protected his relics during their wanderings, until, finally, they brought them to Durham, where one may see today the remnants of his shrine and visit his tomb.

Let us pray. Almighty God, you called Cuthbert from following the flock to be a shepherd of your people: Mercifully grant that, as he sought in dangerous and remote places those who had erred and strayed from your ways, so we may seek the indifferent and the lost, and lead them back to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

March 21 - Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells, 1711

Thomas Ken was born in 1637. Throughout his life he was both rewarded and punished for his integrity. His close relationship with the royal family began when he became chaplain to Princess Mary of Orange at The Hague. Ken was appalled at the Prince of Orange’s treatment of his wife, and rebuked him publicly.

In 1683, Ken returned to England and became chaplain to Charles the Second. His integrity stirred him to rebuke Charles for lax behavior. When Ken was notified that the King’s mistress, the actress Nell Gwyn, was to be lodged at his house, he refused, saying, “a woman of ill-repute ought not to be endured in the house of a clergyman, and especially the King’s chaplain.” The King took no offense, but in the next year made Ken the Bishop of Bath and Wells, declaring that none should have the position except “the little black fellow that refused his lodging to poor Nelly.”

In 1688, when Charles’ successor, James the Second, tried to undermine the authority of the Church of England, Ken was one of seven bishops who refused to read the King’s Declaration of Indulgence, which offered toleration to Protestant non-conformists and to Roman Catholics. The seven bishops were sent to the Tower, but were acquitted in the courts, and became popular heroes. After the resolution of 1688, however, Ken’s conscience did not permit him to swear allegiance to William of Orange, who became King William the Third. As a Non-Juror, Ken was deprived of his see.

Ken’s conscience would not let him rest and his disagreement with others of the “Non-Juring” party over various matters troubled him for the rest of his life. He deplored the Non-Juror schism, and after the accession of Queen Anne, he made his peace with the Church of England.

A man of deep piety, Ken was the author of several religious works which were immensely popular in the eighteenth century. He is best known as a writer of hymns, particularly the well-known evening hymn, “All praise to thee, my God, this night,” which concludes with his doxology, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”

Let us pray. Almighty God, who didst give to thy servant Thomas Ken grace and courage to bear witness to the truth before rulers and kings: Give us also thy strength that, following his example, we may constantly defend what is right, boldly reprove what is evil, and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

We ask your prayers...

Please pray for the soul of Episcopalian Lillian Matsumoto who passed away this month at 101. She was a remarkable woman who cared for orphans in Manzanar's Children's Village. A UC Berkeley graduate in social work, Lillian and husband, UCLA grad Harry, were incarcerated with 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII.  St. John's Senior Warden Susanne La Faver will attend the memorial service of her friend at St. Clement's Church in Berkeley. She'll escort friends Clara Yakushi and Kazuye Suyematsu, both orphans from Children's Village. For more information about Lillian’s life at Manzanar Incarceration Camp, see http://www.nps.gov/manz/forteachers/loader.cfm?csModule=security/getfile&PageID=428499

 

Please pray for Dolores Beisner, mother of Bishop Barry Beisner, and her family. She is in hospice care for terminal cancer. Your prayers for Dolores and her family are greatly appreciated.

  For our Church and Clergy: ‡Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury; ‡Katharine, Presiding Bishop; +Barry, our Bishop; Fr. Leo+, our Parish Priest; Bryan, our Deacon; the clergy & people of the Diocese of Northern California; and Christians in the Holy Land and Middle East.

For all in need, especially: Fr. Leo+, Deacon Bryan, Rev. Blake+ Leighton, AnneBarquist, June Salter, Ava Jade Steilen, Ruth Eason, Doug Norton, Ron & Eileen Martin,Deena Childers, Norah & Jerry Collins, Michael Clore, Mickey Fahnestock, Jane Duffty, JimWilson, Dr. Marie Crail, Clementine Hall, SuzetteTyler Duncan, Cathy Rooker, ElendaDuryea, Carol Brabrook, Chrystina Harris, Ted Davies, Dave Cowles, Sidney Taylor and EilaLintuneh.

(To add someone to the prayer list, please call Leila at 263-4565 or e-mailLdh1218@sbcglobal.net.)

  

Announcements

 

If you would like to host the Hospitality Hour after Sunday Service please sign the  Hospitality Hour Schedule in Carey Hall.

Please bring offerings of nonperishable foods for the Food Pantry. As we continue our outreach to the needy in our community, your donations are always appreciated and needed to sustain this vital service.  Also, your monetary donations are always appreciated and needed to sustain this vital service. Your dollar buys much more food when we purchase in bulk. 

 Thank you.

Opportunity to serve St. John’s: If you’re friendly and frequent thrift stores, perhaps you’re just the person to volunteer in the thrift Shop.  Volunteers are needed, especially to help sort the overstock.   Even an hour or two would be appreciated. If you’re interested, leave a message for Ginger Ingersol, thrift shop manager, at (707) 245-3147.  The shop is openTuesdayWednesday and Thursday 10 to 4 in the Church basement. 

Until further notice, the Thrift Store is not accepting donations. Volunteers are needed, especially to help sort the overstock; even an hour or two helps.  Please speak to Ginny Ingersoll or Deborah Smith if you can help.

The Food Pantry needs nonperishable foods.                                                                                                                                                               

You can reach Fr. Leo at 349-6563 or e-mail frleo@yahoo.com

 

“Focus on the mission; stay together; 

keep moving forward,in the Name of Christ.”  

(Bishop Barry Beisner)

 

Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17   Entries 1-5 of 81
Contents © 2014 St. John's Church, Lakeport | Church Website Provided by mychurchwebsite.net | Privacy Policy